Low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic field therapy in fibromyalgia

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial

Sutbeyaz, Serap Tomruk MD, Sezer, Nebahat MD, Koseoglu, Fusun MD, Kibar, Sibel MD

The objective was to evaluate the clinical efficacy of low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy in women with fibromyalgia (FM). Fifty-six women with FM, aged 18 to 60 years, were randomly assigned to either PEMF (n=28) or placebo therapy (n=28). Treatment was performed twice a day, for 3 weeks. Treatment outcomes were assessed by the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), Visual Analog Scale (VAS), patient's overall assessment of response to therapy, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and Short-Form 36 health survey (SF-36), after treatment (at 4 weeks) and at follow-up (at 12 weeks). The PEMF group showed significant improvements in FIQ, VAS pain, BDI score, and SF-36 scale in all domains at the end of therapy. Improvements in the FIQ, VAS pain, and SF-36 pain score remained even during follow-up. The placebo group also showed improvements in all outcome measures except total FIQ scores after treatment. At the 12-week follow-up, only improvements in the BDI and SF-36 scores were present in the placebo group.

Conclusion: Low-frequency PEMF therapy improves function, pain, fatigue, and overall condition in FM patients.

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