Benefits Of Electromagnetic Therapy

  • Zaynab Karim BS Biochemistry, Queen Mary University of London, UK

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Electromagnetic therapy is a safe and easy method used to treat muscle and skeletal pain.1 It uses electromagnetic fields to treat symptoms and can also be known as magnetic field therapy. This therapy is based on the fact that the body contains magnetic and electrical fields,2 and a disruption in these fields can result in both physical and mental illness. Magnets and electricity were used for medical treatment from the early 18th century and have been used for treatment for illnesses such as depression, anxiety, brain cancer and much more.3 This article will explore the different types of electromagnetic therapy, the benefits, and the future of this therapy.

Types of magnetic therapy

There are different types of magnetic therapy, which include:

  • Low-frequency and high-intensity electromagnetic therapy: This involves a device which emits electromagnetic fields which are passed onto the patient through solenoids (this is a wrapped piece of copper wire, which looks like a spring, where a small amount of current is passed along the wire).4
  • Static magnetic field therapy: This is applied through a permanent magnet attached to the skin, by wearing a bracelet or putting a magnet inside the shoe sole. This has been used to treat medical problems such as arthritis, chronic pain syndrome, wound healing, insomnia, and headaches.5
  • Electrically charged magnetic therapy (pulsed electromagnetic therapy): The magnets have an electric charge, and it comes from an electric pulse.6
  • Magnetic therapy with acupuncture: This is when magnets are placed on the same areas of the skin as an acupuncturist would focus on for acupuncture.
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS): this is a type of electromagnetic therapy which uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve depression. It is carried out without surgery and is also used for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and migraines and help people stop smoking.7
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulators (TENS): This is a type of electromagnetic therapy where pads are attached to the skin and a small electrical impulse is delivered to the affected area of the body. This reduces pain to the spinal cord and brain, relieving pain, and relaxing muscles

Benefits of electromagnetic therapy

Pain management

A study showed that electromagnetic therapy reduced pain and increased function in people who suffer from different muscle and skeletal diseases such as:8

  • Knee osteoarthritis- This is when the knee joint becomes painful and stiff.9
  • Shoulder impingement syndrome- This is shoulder pain where the tissue rubs against nearby tissue or bone.10
  • Chronic mechanical neck pain
  • Low back pain
  • Fibromyalgia- This is a long-term condition which causes pain around the body.11
  • Patellofemoral pain- this causes pain at the front of the knee around the kneecap.12
  • Plantar fasciitis- This is the inflammation of tissue across the bottom of the foot, connected from the heel to the toes.13
  • Hand osteoarthritis- This is when the hand joints become painful and stiff.14

Further research has found that combining this therapy with other forms of treatment such as hot packs and TENS did not change the level of pain relief.

Improved circulation

A study showed that those who went through pulsed electromagnetic field therapy improved circulation and therefore improved heart function and reduced blood pressure.15 This increases blood flow by dilating the vessels that deliver oxygen to the tissues. 

Accelerated healing

A study showed that patients with fractures who used pulsed electromagnetic field therapy for 9 or more hours a day, healed 76 days earlier than patients who used it for 3 hours or less a day.16 This is shown to reduce inflammation by reducing the production of free radicals (toxic molecules) and stimulating osteoblasts (a cell which releases bone substance).17

Stress reduction

Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy is shown to be effective in the reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms.18 It increases the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, endorphins, and dopamine, which are responsible for mood regulation. Studies conducted on each of these issues showed a reduction in each mental health disorder in patients who suffered from depressive symptoms, generalised anxiety disorder and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It works by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress which are known to contribute to stress.

Enhanced sleep

Studies show that pulsing magnetic fields can stimulate the production of melatonin, this hormone is important for sleep and anti-aging. In turn, this can help disrupted sleep patterns, relax the mind, and improve the quality of sleep.19

Conditions and ailments addressed by electromagnetic therapy


A 2018 review looked at patients who suffered from osteoarthritis in the knees, neck, and hands. Electromagnetic therapy reduced pain and increased function in those with knee and hand osteoarthritis but not neck. It was shown that short sessions of 30 minutes was more effective than longer sessions.8


There isn’t enough evidence to know if magnetic therapy is helpful for pain reduction for this condition. However, two studies were carried out which showed the reduction of pain for those who used EMT for 30 minutes, 2 to 3 times a week, for 3 to 4 weeks. 

Low-back pain

A 2022 review found 1 to 12 weeks of pulsed electromagnetic field therapy used for 2 to 7 days a week is beneficial for those with back pain. Research also showed more pain relief when it was used with physical therapy, pain medicine or usual care.

Complex regional pain syndrome

In 2021 a review showed people with CRPS had less pain and increased function in their upper and lower limbs after 10 consecutive days of pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, known as Bio-Electro-Magnetic-Energy-Regulation (BEMER).

Menstrual pain

A 2020 study compared pulsed electromagnetic therapy with exercise. It showed women who suffered from dysmenorrhea (painful periods) had a reduction in menstrual pain after 4 weeks of therapy for 15 to 25 minutes, 3 times a week, compared to 20 to 25 minutes of exercise 3 times a week for 4 weeks. They also mentioned they had a better quality of life with this therapy compared to when exercising. 

Multiple sclerosis and paraesthesia pain

A 2016 study showed those with sclerosis paraesthesia pain (abnormal itching, tingling, or burning of the limbs) had a reduction in pain when this therapy was administered for 60 days, 2 times a week for 20 minutes.

Safety considerations

Electromagnetic therapy is not dangerous and there are no known side effects of this treatment. But those with certain pre-existing conditions may not be able to use this treatment option, such as:20

  • Pregnancy
  • Tuberculosis
  • Juvenile diabetes
  • Acute viral diseases
  • Mycosis
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Tumours
  • Severe arrhythmias
  • Pacemaker wearers
  • Children
  • Those who wear magnetisable prostheses
  • Acute infections
  • Epilepsy

Before using the electromagnets, please consult your doctor before and after treatment.


Electromagnetic therapy, also known as magnetic field therapy, is a safe and effective method for treating muscle and skeletal pain by utilising electromagnetic fields. With roots dating back to the 18th century, this therapy capitalises on the body's magnetic and electrical fields, addressing disruptions that can lead to both physical and mental ailments. Various types of electromagnetic therapy include low-frequency and high-intensity treatments, static magnetic field therapy, electrically charged magnetic therapy, magnetic therapy with acupuncture, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulators (TENS). The benefits of electromagnetic therapy encompass pain management, improved circulation, accelerated healing, stress reduction, and enhanced sleep. Studies have shown its effectiveness in alleviating pain associated with conditions such as knee osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, and plantar fasciitis. Additionally, electromagnetic therapy has demonstrated positive outcomes in improving heart function, reducing blood pressure, and accelerating the healing of fractures. Conditions like osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, low-back pain, complex regional pain syndrome, menstrual pain, and multiple sclerosis paraesthesia pain have shown positive responses to electromagnetic therapy. While generally safe, individuals with specific conditions like pregnancy, tuberculosis, or those with pacemakers are advised to consult with a healthcare professional before considering this treatment. In summary, electromagnetic therapy offers a promising avenue for pain relief and overall well-being, with ongoing research expected to shape its future applications in healthcare.


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  2. Brazdzionis J, Wiginton J, Patchana T, Savla P, Hung J, Zhang Y, et al. Measuring the electromagnetic field of the human brain at a distance using a shielded electromagnetic field channel. Cureus [Internet]. [cited 2024 Feb 2];14(3):e23626. Available from:
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  16. Cadossi R, Massari L, Racine-Avila J, Aaron RK. Pulsed electromagnetic field stimulation of bone healing and joint preservation: cellular mechanisms of skeletal response. JAAOS Global Research & Reviews [Internet]. 2020 May [cited 2024 Feb 4];4(5):e19.00155. Available from:,hours%20or%20less%20per%20day.
  17. Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy - an overview | sciencedirect topics [Internet]. [cited 2024 Feb 4]. Available from:,free%20radicals%20and%20stimulating%20osteoblasts.
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  20. Mariangela. I-Tech Medical Division. 2022 [cited 2024 Feb 5]. Contraindications of PEMF therapy: are there any risk factors? Available from: 

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This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Zaynab Karim

BS Biochemistry, Queen Mary University of London, UK

Zaynab, a biochemistry graduate, possesses a robust background in writing and presenting information for the lay audience. With previous experience in crafting articles, she enthusiastically explores the captivating realm of medical writing. presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
Klarity is a citizen-centric health data management platform that enables citizens to securely access, control and share their own health data. Klarity Health Library aims to provide clear and evidence-based health and wellness related informative articles. 
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