Effects of pulsed electromagnetic fields on postmenopausal osteoporosis

Bioelectromagnetics. 2017 Sep;38(6):406-424. doi: 10.1002/bem.22065. Epub 2017 Jun 30.


Postmenopausal osteoporosis (PMOP) is considered to be a well-defined subject that has caused high morbidity and mortality. In elderly women diagnosed with PMOP, low bone mass and fragile bone strength have been proven to significantly increase risk of fragility fractures. Currently, various anabolic and anti-resorptive therapies have been employed in an attempt to retain healthy bone mass and strength. Pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs), first applied in treating patients with delayed fracture healing and nonunions, may turn out to be another potential and effective therapy for PMOP. PEMFs can enhance osteoblastogenesis and inhibit osteoclastogenesis, thus contributing to an increase in bone mass and strength. However, accurate mechanisms of the positive effects of PEMFs on PMOP remain to be further elucidated. This review attempts to summarize recent advances of PEMFs in treating PMOP based on clinical trials, and animal and cellular studies. Possible mechanisms are also introduced, and the future possibility of application of PEMFs on PMOP are further explored and discussed. Bioelectromagnetics. 38:406-424, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Keywords: PEMFs; PMOP; bone cells; bone homeostasis; bone quality.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Bone Density / radiation effects
  • Bone Remodeling / radiation effects
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Field Therapy / methods*
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / metabolism
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / pathology
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / physiopathology
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / therapy*


  • Biomarkers