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Do Magnetic Fields Have a Place in Treating Vascular Complications in Diabetes?


The use of electromagnetic field therapy (EMFT) is a non-invasive, potential alternative or complementary choice in the treatment of wounds, chronic pain, neuropathy, and other medical conditions, including tissue repair and cell proliferation. Static magnetic fields (SMFs) have been reported to increase microcirculatory blood flow by mediating vasodilation via nitric oxide. Studies report that SMF exposure causes homeostatic, normalizing effects on the vascular tone that may have beneficial effects in situations where tissue perfusion is limited, such as may be present in diabetes. Pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs) have also shown promise in treating diabetic wounds by improving wound healing rates and other attributes. Our purpose was to critically review prior applications of EMFT for relevancy and effectiveness in treating diabetic complications. The goal was to provide information to allow for informed decisions on the possible use of these modalities in the treatment of persons with diabetic complications. The focus was on the following major areas: wound healing, neuropathy, blood glucose control, blood flow, inflammation and oxidative stress.

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