Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Effect of pulsed electromagnetic field therapy on experimental pain: A double-blind, randomized study in healthy young adults med./bio.

Published in: Electromagn Biol Med 2016; 35 (3): 237-244

Aim of study (acc. to author)

It should be investigated whether exposure to a pulsed 60 Hz magnetic field has a direct or indirect analgesic effect in volunteers with experimental heat pain.

Background/further details

Previous studies (Binder et al. 1984, Foley-Nolan et al. 1990) have suggested an analgesic effect of pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF). However, it is unclear whether these were direct effects or indirect effects of the PEMF on anti-inflammatory or healing processes.
24 healthy subjects (9 males) participated in 2 sessions with sham exposure and PEMF exposure, respectively, with approximately an 1-week interval in between.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 60 Hz
Exposure duration: continuous for 10 minutes

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 60 Hz
Exposure duration continuous for 10 minutes
Exposure setup
Exposure source
  • Rhumart Self-Health MBI-3000 apparatus and two REBONE-4A applicators
Setup participants were seated on a wooden chair; exposure was administered on the same forearm as the pain test
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 0.9 mT - calibration - -

Reference articles

  • Begue-Simon AM et al. (1993): Clinical assessment of the RHUMART system based on the use of Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields with low frequency
  • Binder A et al. (1984): Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy of persistent rotator cuff tendinitis. A double-blind controlled assessment

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Investigated organ system:
Time of investigation:
  • before exposure
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

There were no significant differences in pain intensity, pain unpleasantness and temporal summation observed between PEMF and sham exposure.
The authors conclude that exposure to a pulsed 60 Hz magnetic field has presumably no direct analgesic effect. However, an indirect effect could still be possible.

Study character:

Study funded by

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