Therapy using magnetic fields to stimulate tissue regeneration
Magnetotherapy is a physical therapy method that uses electromagnetic energy to stimulate tissue regeneration and treat certain health problems. According to physiotherapists, magnetic fields are a therapeutic medium that can help improve conditions of the nervous system, locomotor system, circulatory system and skin.
Magnetic therapy equipment can be used both to treat problems that have arisen after an injury and for chronic complaints; for example, physiotherapists recommend this method to try to reduce back pain.
Magnetotherapy uses magnets for its application. This is possible because the body’s cells generate an electromagnetic field in response to a mechanical stimulus. When they suffer a trauma or injury, the cells become sick and lose energy. In this case, magnetotherapy helps to recharge the cells’ fields and also to regenerate them.
As mentioned earlier, the magnetotherapy machine uses electromagnetic energy to carry out the therapy. The machine consists of a number of magnets through which current passes; an electromagnetic field of varying frequency is generated inside it. There are low and high frequencies, used depending on the problem at hand. One of the most common uses is the stimulation of new tissue formation following bone fractures.
The magnets are placed in contact with the patient’s body and create a magnetic field infused with energy produced by the machine’s computer. At the start of the treatment, magnets are applied on the parts of the body that need the most attention.
Usually, the magnets used in this therapy are similar to rectangular plates with a Velcro portion that allows them to be applied on narrow bands around the area to be treated. Some manufacturers of magnetotherapy equipment have also come up with solutions that can be used while sleeping at night, such as a magnetised blanket that ensures that the therapy continues at night, or a specialised brace that covers the leg area.
The treatment of bone fractures
The treatment of joint and muscle pain
The treatment of skeletal diseases
The treatment of inflammations
Provides additional help in rehabilitation
Based on the pathology or injury to be treated, the physiotherapist may choose between two types of magnetotherapy: low-frequency or high-frequency magnetotherapy. Magnetotherapy equipment that generates low-frequency magnetic fields contributes to strengthening the skeletal system by promoting calcium assimilation and stimulating bone calcification: however, the healing time after a bone fracture is very long. Equipment that generates high-frequency fields, on the other hand, is mainly used to promote blood circulation and relieve pain following an injury.
Does magnetotherapy have side effects?
This type of therapy is usually prescribed by a doctor to treat certain pathologies: it is non-invasive and painless for the patient.
However, it is not recommend for patients with metal prostheses or electronic devices such as pacemakers, as the electromagnetic waves could interfere with their proper functioning. Magnetotherapy is also not used during pregnancy or in the presence of heart disease, tumours and hyperthyroidism.