Efficacy of pulsed electromagnetic therapy for chronic lower back pain: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study

J Int Med Res. Mar-Apr 2006;34(2):160-7. doi: 10.1177/147323000603400205.

Abstract

This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial studied the effectiveness of pulsed electromagnetic therapy (PEMT) in patients with chronic lower back pain. Active PEMT (n = 17) or placebo treatment (n = 19) was performed three times a week for 3 weeks. Patients were assessed using a numerical rating scale (NRS) and revised Oswestry disability scores for 4 weeks after therapy. PEMT produced significant pain reduction throughout the observation period compared with baseline values. The percentage change in the NRS score from baseline was significantly greater in the PEMT group than the placebo group at all three time-points measured. The mean revised Oswestry disability percentage after 4 weeks was significantly improved from the baseline value in the PEMT group, whereas there were no significant differences in the placebo group. In conclusion, PEMT reduced pain and disability and appears to be a potentially useful therapeutic tool for the conservative management of chronic lower back pain.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chronic Disease
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Electromagnetic Phenomena*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / physiopathology
  • Low Back Pain / therapy*
  • Male