Low-energy Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy Reduces Pain in Fibromyalgia: A Randomized Single-blind Controlled Pilot Study

Author: Massimo Giovale1, Lucia Novelli2, Luca Persico3, Francesca Motta2,4, Stefano Rampoldi5, Rossana Galli1, Patrizia Monteforte1, Marica Doveri1, Gerolamo Bianchi1, Carlo Selmi2,4, Luigi Carlo Bottaro6
1 Division of Rheumatology, ASL3 Genovese, Genoa, Italy.
2 Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology; IRCCS Humanitas Research Hospital, Rozzano, Milan, Italy.
3 Department of Economics, University of Genova, Genoa, Italy.
4 Department of Biomedical Sciences, Humanitas University, Milan, Italy.
5 THS Therapeutic Solutions srl, Milan, Italy.
6 General Direction, ASL3 Genovese, Genoa, Italy.
Conference/Journal: Rheumatol Immunol Res
Date published: 2022 Jul 6
Other: Volume ID: 3 , Issue ID: 2 , Pages: 77-83 , Special Notes: doi: 10.2478/rir-2022-0013. , Word Count: 207

Fibromyalgia symptoms have a significant impact on the quality of life and respond poorly to medications. It has been hypothesized that the use of low-energy pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) induces neuroprotective effects that may interfere with pain perception. We explored the efficacy of PEMF in patients affected by fibromyalgia.

Twenty-one females (median age 59 years, interquartile range [IQR] 16.5) affected by fibromyalgia were randomized to receive pulsed electromagnetic field-triple energy pain treatment (PEMF-TEPT) or placebo at T0 and at 4 weeks and 8 weeks. Fibromyalgia impact questionnaire (FIQ), widespread pain index (WPI), visual analog score (VAS) pain, symptom severity (SS) scale, and short form 36 (SF-36) health survey questionnaire have been evaluated.

Patients in the PEMF-TEPT group had a significantly higher reduction of WPI compared to placebo (mean difference -12.90 ± standard deviation [SD] 5.32 vs. -1.91 ± 4.55, difference in difference [DD] of -10.99; P < 0.001), of SS score (-4.10 ± 4.85 vs. -2.00 ± 2.32; DD = -2.1; P < 0.05), of VAS pain (-48 ± 30.75 vs. -16.82 ± 23.69; DD = -31.18; P < 0.01). They also reported a higher improvement of FIQ and SF-36, albeit not reaching statistical significance.

In our pilot controlled study, PEMF-TEPT appeared to be safe and improved fibromyalgia symptoms.

Keywords: diffuse pain syndrome; fatigue; quality of life; widespread pain.

PMID: 36465321 PMCID: PMC9524818 DOI: 10.2478/rir-2022-0013