PEMF therapy: what it is and what it is used for


If your doctor has prescribed a PEMF therapy treatment or you have heard about it and want to know more, you are in the right place.

Frequencies, treatment times, accessories, prices, difference from other therapies… Make yourself comfortable, you’ll find everything in this comprehensive guide.

What is PEMF therapy?

PEMF therapy is an instrumental physical therapy that uses electromagnetic fields to treat acute or chronic bone and muscle disorders. It restores balance to damaged cells.

PEMF therapy: what it is used for

So what is PEMF therapy used for?

PEMF therapy helps reduce pain and inflammation in bones, muscles and joints.

This is why it is particularly indicated and used in case of patients suffering from osteoporosis, arthrosis, arthritis or joint pain. But also for bone consolidation after fractures, for reabsorption of bone oedema and in many other cases.

Let’s take a closer look at the cases in which PEMF therapy is useful and what are the pathologies that can be treated:

Scapulohumeral periarthritis
Arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
Muscle atrophy
Muscle pain
Joint pain
Cervical pain
Muscle strain
Chronic pain
Cartilage lesions
Muscle cramps
Bone fractures
Ligament injuries
Impingement syndrome
Epicondylitis (Golfer's elbow)
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Lumbago (back pain)
Rotator cuff
Lumbar-sacral pain
Tarsal tunnel

PEMF therapy is a treatment that requires medium to long cure times and a lot of perseverance from the patient. Although some patients may feel the first benefits after only ten days or so, a treatment cycle usually lasts about 45-60 days and can be repeated several times a year. In addition, the patient is required to undergo therapy for at least 2-3 hours every day (maybe more, depending on the pathology and the instructions received from their doctor) This is why renting a PEMF therapy unit is almost never the most cost-effective solution.

That long?

Don’t worry, there are different models of devices and applicators on the market that allow you to customise your treatment and meet your needs. And also to do your therapy during the night. We will look at them in this guide.

PEMF therapy: the benefits

The beneficial effects of PEMF therapy mainly relate to its ability to reduce pain and inflammation. This almost always coincides with the possibility of regaining one’s mobility and with it the serenity of being able to return to one’s daily activities.

In addition to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect, PEMF therapy helps to reactivate the blood circulation, in particular the microcirculation, to improve scarring and tissue recovery processes and to relax the muscles.

Does PEMF therapy work?

Does PEMF therapy really work against pain?

Sure. For decades, PEMF therapy has been an established therapy with universally recognised effectiveness. There are thousands of clinical studies in the literature reporting the efficacy of PEMF therapy in the treatment of diseases of the musculoskeletal system.

In the presence of a disease or inflammatory state, the body’s cells are damaged and their membrane loses some of its ability to exchange nutrients and waste substances with the outside. Pulsed electromagnetic fields reactivate the communication process between the inside and outside of the cell, accelerating the healing time of the treated tissue.

PEMF therapy: contraindications

If you are wondering whether PEMF therapy can be dangerous, we can reassure you right away. PEMF therapy is a safe therapy. In fact, it has no side effects whatsoever.

However, you should carefully consider a number of contraindications, for example if you have a pacemaker or are pregnant.

Almost all contraindications listed in the user manual of a device stem from the fact that clinical studies on patients with certain characteristics have never been conducted. Therefore, it is not necessarily the case that PEMF therapy is bad for these patients. There is simply no scientific evidence to prove with absolute certainty that there are no side effects for these individuals, and therefore its use is not recommended.

PEMF therapy: equipment for every need

Not all patients suffer from the same pathology and not even on the same part of the body. Fortunately, it is quite easy to find a suitable PEMF therapy device for every need.

On the market there are powered or battery-operated devices , with preset programs and different applicators to treat bones and muscles in greater or lesser depth, but also joints of all sizes.

Low-frequency PEMF therapy and high-frequency PEMF therapy

One of the most frequently asked questions for those approaching the world of PEMF therapy is: “The doctor has prescribed PEMF therapy, should I buy a low-frequency or a high-frequency model?”

It depends on the type of treatment needed.

In principle, low-frequency PEMF therapy also covers all the applications found in high-frequency. In fact, while the high frequency is used to treat the most superficial tissues and soft tissues, the magnetic field of low-frequency PEMF therapy can also reach deeper tissues and bone tissue.

Therefore, in this article, we always refer to low-frequency PEMF therapy for ease of reading.

Frequencies and intensities

Frequency and intensity of treatment are the two key parameters of any PEMF therapy device. Frequency is measured in hertz (Hz) and intensity in gauss (G).

How to set these parameters?

Again, it depends. The universal advice is to follow the doctor’s instructions. However, the doctor does not always suggest precise values. That’s why our devices feature therapy programs with preset frequency and intensity based on the most authoritative clinical studies.

“OK, but my doctor recommended the X program at 50 gauss, whereas in your device it is set at 30 gauss. What should I do?”

Don’t worry, the intensity is an adjustable parameter within the program. In any case, we take this opportunity to dispel a false myth.

Increasing the intensity does not reduce the time needed for proper treatment. Intensity and time are two completely unrelated concepts.

The intensity is closely related to the depth of treatment. For example, to treat a femur fracture or in the presence of plaster, the electromagnetic fields will find more obstacles in their path, so the intensity will have to be increased.

The only way to shorten the healing time, therefore, is to be consistent and to be able to do therapy for as many hours as possible, with the help of the night-time treatment mat.

PEMF therapy: how it works

The technology behind PEMF therapy is very simple.

The device contains a generator that sends electrical impulses to magnets, called solenoids. These solenoids, which are usually placed inside an applicator that can have different shapes, emit pulsed electromagnetic fields that are transmitted to the human body.

These electromagnetic fields target damaged cells, helping them to regain their balance in a process of cell regeneration.

PEMF therapy: how to place magnets (solenoids)

PEMF therapy devices can have different types of applicators. From simple bands to wrap around a painful or inflamed body part, to back treatment mats, which are also used for foot PEMF therapy.

The important thing is that the magnets – known as “solenoids” – contained within the applicators are placed in contact with the part of the body to be treated. Not necessarily on bare skin, but in contact with the body.

If you don’t like the idea of keeping the applicator in contact with the skin, you can use non-woven bands or wear clothes, as long as they are not very thick and as long as you avoid synthetic or fleece clothes. Cotton clothes or other clothing such as socks are fine.

To see how to position the solenoids for each pathology or body part, we recommend that you download our I-Tech Life app, register and access the exclusive content.

How to tell if your PEMF therapy device works

In addition to not causing any pain, PEMF therapy does not emit any noise or vibrations. So a lot of people have a spontaneous question: how do I know if my device works?

It is actually very simple. Our low-frequency PEMF therapy products are equipped with a white rectangular “box”, a magnet that vibrates when placed on the applicator and lets you know that the device is actually working.

If not, it means that something is not right. This could be due, for example, to incorrect connection of the applicator to the equipment body.

And in case you have lost the white magnet, don’t worry. You can choose to buy it back or equip yourself with a magnetic nut that performs the same function. We recommend that they are thick magnets (2-3 cm) and not fridge magnets.

How much does a cycle of PEMF therapy cost?

Before going into the price analysis of the different devices, let’s see which are the most commonly considered alternatives: buying a device or renting it.

As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, PEMF therapy requires medium to long treatment times. More than 80% of medical prescriptions indicate a minimum treatment duration of 30 days.

Renting a PEMF therapy device even for just 30 days generally costs more than half the price of a new device and sometimes you can pay almost the full price of the dveice.

Not to mention that often a rented device has been used before.

According to the regulations, the retailer is obliged, each time a rented device is returned, to sanitise it completely, including all accessories, and to rent it again in the same condition as when it was first placed on the market.

Focusing on the purchase price of a PEMF therapy device, it usually ranges from 250€ to 650€, with peaks of 1000€ in the case of super-equipped models.

For around €480, you can own one of the top-of-the-range devices with features that allow you to do several therapies at once.

Personalising your device: the most popular accessories

Almost all of our PEMF therapy devices can be customised by adding the accessories that best suit the patient’s needs.

In particular, those with 2 output channels are very versatile and allow you to connect, in addition to the classic therapy band, applicators such as a pair of solenoids, a mat or a mattress.

The pair of solenoids is used mainly for the comfort it offers in joint treatment, for example when you decide to do PEMF therapy on your knee. But not only that. Because its solenoids are larger than those in the standard band, it is possible to greatly increase the intensity of the electromagnetic fields without risking overheating the solenoids themselves. This is useful when you have to treat a fracture in the presence of plaster and you need to increase the intensity to reach the bone more easily.

The mat, measuring 40×40 cm, is used to treat back problems, whether related to the spine, contractures or forms of lumbago.

But it is with the Osteomat mattress  that PEMF therapy finds its greatest expression of comfort. This, in fact, allows the patient to treat pain and pathologies spread over the whole body, for long intervals of time. We are also talking about 8 hours a day. It is therefore possible to use it during the night, which also saves a lot of time, especially for those who cannot stop for therapy during the day.

The mattress is also particularly soft, which makes it very pleasant to sleep on. It is also lightweight, foldable and therefore transportable from one room to another.

Night-time PEMF therapy

If you are wondering whether it is possible to do therapy at night, the answer is yes.

As we mentioned earlier, PEMF therapy requires medium to long treatment times and the more hours per day it is carried out, the greater the benefit.

Remember, too, that there are no constraints in terms of overdose: the more therapy you can do, the better.

Some musculoskeletal conditions, such as osteoporosis and arthrosis, require sessions of longer duration and on more parts of the body. Night-time PEMF therapy can therefore treat these conditions effectively and comfortably, as it is carried out during the hours of sleep.

What precautions to take before starting a PEMF therapy session

During a PEMF therapy session, it is recommended not to use the telephone or PC or to keep them too close to the equipment body or the solenoids in order to avoid interference with the devices.

Also, please note that if you are going to have therapy in the presence of a brace, it must not have any magnetisable metal parts.

Finally, as always, please consult your doctor and read the user manual carefully so that you can start the treatment with confidence.

Is it better to do PEMF therapy at home or in a doctor’s office?

By this point in the article, you will certainly have learned that PEMF therapy requires treatment cycles of at least 30-45 days, up to 60-90, depending on the pathology to be treated and the patient’s condition.

On average, a PEMF therapy session lasts at least 2-4 hours to be effective.

It is clear that a specialised centre cannot receive patients for so many consecutive hours, so the number of sessions required will increase.

These are some of the reasons why PEMF therapy is particularly suitable for home use, plus the fact that the cost of a course of treatment at a medical practice is often equal to or greater than the cost of buying a PEMF therapy device. The advantage of the purchase is that you can use the device wherever and whenever you want, repeating the cycle even at a later date, according to your needs, at no extra cost and in the comfort of your own home.

Where to buy a PEMF therapy device

PEMF therapy devices can be purchased through health care store providers, orthopaedic centres and pharmacies.

Our PEMF therapy devices can be found in more than 20 countries around the world. Visit our distributors page to find the closest one to you.

Please note that we do not sell directly. You can contact us for any information related to the prescribed treatment, we will be happy to guide you in choosing the most suitable device for your necessities and to redirect you to the nearest distributor in your country.

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