Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy, PEMF
What It Is and How It Works
PEMF stands for pulsed electromagnetic field. A battery is used to pulse an electrical current through a coil to generate an electromagnetic field. This field is similar to what is naturally created by the Earth all the time, just a little more concentrated. The magnetic field helps to jumpstart the body’s normal biological processes. Put very simply, our cells use charged particles called ions to facilitate normal function. When the body is stressed, the cell membrane that allows these ions in and out of the cell becomes congested and the ions have a hard time passing through. The electromagnetic field helps to realign the cell membrane and allows those ions to move freely and the cell can perform optimally again. This results in decreased inflammation and pain by allowing more nitric oxide (the body’s natural anti-inflammatory) into the cells. This in turn leads to accelerated healing time as well.
Not only does PEMF therapy help with the body’s natural healing process and pain relief, it can also have some calming benefits. Here in the clinic, we have a bed that emits PEMF. We notice that many patients preferentially lay on the bed, rather than on the floor.
Who Could Benefit From PEMF Therapy
We tend to use pulsed electromagnetic field therapy with most of our patients for pain management as it is safe to use in most cases. However, there are some exceptions. Those patients with open growth plates (think puppies and kittens) and any animals (or humans) with a pacemaker or any other electronic medical device should not be exposed to pulsed electromagnetic fields. For any patient that doesn’t fall into either of those two categories, we will try PEMF therapy.
The Take Home
Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy therapy can be very beneficial to our patients and we tend to reach for it with most of them. We will often recommend a take-home version for our patients as well. Always be sure to consult with your veterinarian before trying any PEMF therapy for your pet at home.
There are several methods of delivering pulsed electromagnetic field therapy to pets. This blog focuses on the PEMF bed only.