Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of therapeutic electromagnetic fields (TEMF) on chronic low back pain. Secondary objectives included the investigation of the effects of TEMF on psychometric measures. Setting: Pain Research center in an Urban Academic Rehabilitation Facility. Design: Prospective, randomized, single-blind, placebo (sham)treatment-controlled design in which participants were evaluated over a 6-week period. A total of 40 subjects were randomly assigned: 20 subjects to 15 milliTESLA (mT) treatment using a prototype electromagnetic field device and 20 to sham treatment. Interventions: After a 2-week baseline period, eligible individuals were randomized to one of the treatment groups (sham or 15 mT) for six 30-minute treatments over 2 weeks, then a 2-week follow-up period. Outcome Measures: The primary outcome measure was the self-report of pain severity using a 100 mm visual analog scale collected using a twice daily McGill Pain Questionnaire-Short Form. Several secondary measures were assessed. Results: Both groups (15 mT and sham) improved over time(P < 0.05). Although groups were similar during the treatment period, treated subjects (TEMF of 15 mT) improved significantly over sham treatment during the 2-week follow-up period (20.5% reduction in pain; F1,34 = 10.62, P = 0.003). There were no reported serious adverse events. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that TEMF may be an effective and safe modality for the treatment of chronic low back pain disorders. More studies are needed to test this hypothesis.
- Chronic pain
- Low back pain
- Magneto therapy
- Therapeutic electromagnetic fields (TEMF)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine