Pulsed electromagnetic fields: promising treatment for osteoporosis

Osteoporos Int. 2019 Feb;30(2):267-276. doi: 10.1007/s00198-018-04822-6. Epub 2019 Jan 2.


Osteoporosis (OP) is considered to be a well-defined disease which results in high morbidity and mortality. In patients diagnosed with OP, low bone mass and fragile bone strength have been demonstrated to significantly increase risk of fragility fractures. To date, various anabolic and antiresorptive therapies have been applied to maintain healthy bone mass and strength. Pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs) are employed to treat patients suffering from delayed fracture healing and nonunions. Although PEMFs stimulate osteoblastogenesis, suppress osteoclastogenesis, and influence the activity of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) and osteocytes, ultimately leading to retention of bone mass and strength. However, whether PEMFs could be taken into clinical use to treat OP is still unknown. Furthermore, the deeper signaling pathways underlying the way in which PEMFs influence OP remain unclear.

Keywords: BMSCs; Osteoblasts; Osteoclasts; Osteocytes; Osteoporosis; PEMFs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Density / physiology
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Field Therapy / methods*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / physiology
  • Osteoblasts / physiology
  • Osteoclasts / physiology
  • Osteogenesis / physiology
  • Osteoporosis / pathology
  • Osteoporosis / physiopathology
  • Osteoporosis / therapy*