Wearable therapy device shows promise for pain management: study

Mari-Len De Guzman
May 14, 2014
By
May 14, 2014 — A new study from the University of Messina in Italy and University of Louisville in Kentucky shows wearable pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) device may help reduce pain for patients with osteoarthritis.
The study’s abstract is posted on the website of the conference website of the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR).

The aim of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of a wearable PEMF device on pain intensity reduction in patients affected by knee osteoarthritis. Secondary aim is to evaluate the effect on stiffness, function, quality of life and pressure pain threshold.

Knee osteoarthritis is the most common form of joint disease and the major cause of pain and physical disability among elderly people, the study abstract said.

"Arthritis is the major cause of disability in the U.S. affecting 52.5 million adults. Osteoarthritis of the knee is the most common musculoskeletal pain and disability condition. Therefore, we are extremely pleased by the results of Dr. Gianluca Bagnato's clinical study," said Ian Rawe, Ph.D., director of research at BioElectronics.

BioElectronics manufactures over-the-counter wearable PEMF devices called ActiPatch Therapy, and other devices for drug-free musculoskeletal pain relief.

The study involved randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, with equal randomization (1:1) and parallel group. Knee osteoarthritis (OA) patients, enrolled according to the ACR criteria, with age >40 years, persistent pain, defined as a minimum mean score of 40 on a 100 mm visual analog scales (VAS), symptomatic disease for at least six months prior to enrollment have been recruited to be randomly assigned to wear active (n=20) or placebo (n=20) device for 12 hours daily for four weeks. Patients affected by secondary causes of OA or by diabetes mellitus have been excluded.

Patients in the active group showed a statistically significant improvement in visual analogue pain scores (VAS) (p<0.005) and WOMAC (Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index) pain scores (p<0.001) at four weeks compared to baseline.

Patients in the active group assessed for function and disability showed statistically significant improvement for WOMAC function (p<0.002) and WOMAC stiffness (p<0.02) at four weeks compared to baseline.

Patients in the active group also demonstrated statistically significant (p<0.04) improved physical and mental health as assessed by the SF-36 (36-item Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form 36 version 2) at four weeks compared to baseline.

No statistically significant results were recorded in the placebo group. No adverse events have been observed during the study.

The study concluded that given the low risk of adverse events, wearable PEMF therapy “appears to be a promising and effective therapy in reducing pain intensity, modulating pain threshold and increasing quality of life in OA patients.”

Proponents of the study also called for larger human studies to confirm the long-term effect on pain intensity and on the modulation of pain threshold.

Comments  

 
0 #1 Josh Richardson 2016-06-18 03:50
I have tried different medicine to cure my back until someone offered me a PEMF and it cures my back pain.
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