Efficacy of extremely low-frequency magnetic field in fibromyalgia pain: A pilot study

J Rehabil Res Dev. 2016;53(6):1023-1034. doi: 10.1682/JRRD.2015.04.0061.


The purpose of this pilot study was to determine the efficacy of an extremely low-frequency magnetic field (ELF-MF) in decreasing chronic pain in fibromyalgia (FM) patients. Thirty-seven females were recruited and randomized into two groups: one group was first exposed to systemic ELF-MF therapy (100 microtesla, 1 to 80 Hz) and then to sham therapy, and the other group received the opposite sequence of intervention. Pain, FM-related symptoms, and the ability to perform daily tasks were measured using the Visual Analog Scale, Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), Fibromyalgia Assessment Scale (FAS), and Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) at baseline, end of first treatment cycle, beginning of second treatment cycle (after 1 mo washout), end of second treatment cycle, and end of 1 mo follow-up. ELF-MF treatment significantly reduced pain, which increased on cessation of therapy but remained significantly lower than baseline levels. Short-term benefits were also observed in FIQ, FAS, and HAQ scores, with less significant effects seen in the medium term. ELF-MF therapy can be recommended as part of a multimodal approach for mitigating pain in FM subjects and improving the efficacy of drug therapy or physiotherapy.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02231541.

Keywords: ELF; chronic pain; electromagnetic fields; extremely low-frequency; fibromyalgia; magnetic fields; magnetotherapy; pain; physical therapy; rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Fibromyalgia / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Fields*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pilot Projects
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02231541