The original basis for this form of therapy is the interaction between biological systems with the natural magnetic fields. Optimization of the physical window comprising the electromagnetic field generator and signal properties (frequency, intensity, duration, waveform) with the biological window, inclusive of the experimental model, age and stimulus has helped in achieving consistent beneficial results. Low frequency pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) can provide noninvasive, safe and easy to apply method to treat pain, inflammation and dysfunctions associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA) and PEMF has a long-term record of safety.
The analysis of various studies (animal models of arthritis, cell culture systems and clinical trials) reporting the use of PEMF for arthritis cure has conclusively shown that PEMF not only alleviates the pain in arthritis, but it also affords chondroprotection, exerts anti-inflammatory action and helps in bone remodeling and this could be developed as a viable alternative for arthritis therapy.
Treatment of musculoskeletal conditions with extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) or ultrasound is gaining popularity as greater evidence supports its use. ESWT protocols (describing energy flux density, number of impulses, type of shockwave (focused or radial), number/frequency/duration of treatment session, area of application, and postprocedural therapy protocols) can be adjusted in the clinical setting. Protocols vary across studies, and optimal protocols for most indications are yet to be determined. ESWT can safely be used to treat various musculoskeletal conditions including rotator cuff tendinopathy, lateral elbow epicondlyopathy, greater trochanteric pain syndrome, hamstring tendinopathy, patellar tendinopathy, Achilles tendinopathy, other tendinopathies, plantar fasciopathy, bone stress injuries, and medial tibial stress syndrome.
T.E.N.S. machines stimulate the nerves exclusively for the purpose of relieving pain, whereas Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) machines are designed to stimulate the muscles for the purposes of strengthening and rehabilitating them. The theory is that applying an electrical current helps to strengthen muscles, block pain signals, and improve blood circulation.
Light (Photonic Energy) is part of the electromagnetic spectrum, which ranges from radio waves to gamma rays. Electromagnetic radiation waves, as their names suggest, are fluctuations of electric and magnetic fields, which can transport energy from one medium to another across a barrier. Visible light is not inherently different from the other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum with the exception that the human eye can detect visible waves. Electromagnetic radiation can also be described in terms of a stream of photons which are massless particles each travelling with wavelike properties at the speed of light. A photon is the smallest quantity (quantum) of energy which can be transported, and it was the realization that light travelled in discrete quanta that was the origin of Quantum Theory.
As with any energy treatment, the ability to heal with this particular therapeutic regimen is only equaled by its ability to affect tissues. In other words, in order for any kind of energy healing therapy to stimulate a radical change to targeted tissues it must have a corresponding ability to react with the same tissues. A laser can be left too long on a given area, thereby causing thermal increase and a potential for burns. This is true of any laser no matter what the class. Cavitation, a potential negative side effect of ultrasound, can occur when tissue cells continue to enlarge in size to the point of rupture due to built-up acoustical vibrations over the treatment area. Ultrasound poses several risks to patients, such as overheating and burning tissue, damage to blood vessels and tissue in the treatment area, and cavitation. Electrical stimulation can burn or cause pain when over-stimulation occurs. It should not be used on patients that do not have sensation in the treatment area. This theory is illustrated by several physical laws including the following:
• Bunsen Roscoe Law of Reciprocity:
• The Grotthuss–Draper Law
• The Stark-Einstein Law (http://ccb.rutgers.edu/sites/default/files/coursefiles/courses_sp10/512/Handout_I_Photochemistry_I.pdf)
• The Beer-Lambert Law
The therapies discussed here and following, i.e., electro-magnetic radiation, frequency harmonics therapy, electrical current, oscillating and pulsed magnetic fields, radio waves, stimulated infrared light therapy (photomedicine) and sound therapy (shockwave therapy) are all energy mediums. Conventional physics does not regard sound as part of the electromagnetic spectrum per-se. However, every frequency in the electromagnetic spectrum has a corresponding sound, even if we cannot hear it. Thus, audible and inaudible sound has an intricate relationship to electro-magnetic frequencies and can be utilized for healing. In this sense, sound acts as slow light energy and light acts fast sound.
While we have many disparate forms of vibrational energy that are used therapeutically: Photomedicine, or Laser Therapy, Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy, or PEMF, Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy, or ESWT, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (T.E.N.S.), Electrical Muscle Stimulation, or EMS, and several others, only one of these offers multiphasic dose responses that are therapeutic, while all the rest only damaged tissue with increasing dosages. Laser therapy alone offers benefits at the high end of the scale, which being tissue inhibition. While tissue healing is always a primary goal, it is sometimes overtaken by the need to mitigate pain. It is at these times that photomedicine really shines.