Abstract

This study examined whether a non-thermal, non-invasive, pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF), known to modulate the calmodulin (CaM)-dependent nitric oxide (NO)/cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) signaling pathway, could reduce pain in early knee OA. This randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind pilot clinical study enrolled 34 patients. Patient selection required initial VAS ≥4, 2 h of standing activity per day, and no recent interventions such as cortisone injections or surgery. Results showed VAS pain score decreased in the active cohort by 50 ± 11% versus baseline starting at day 1 and persisting to day 42 (P < 0.001). There was no significant decrease in VAS versus baseline at any time point in the sham cohort (P = 0.227). The overall decrease in mean VAS score for the active cohort was nearly threefold that of the sham cohort (P < 0.001). The results suggest that non-thermal, non-invasive PEMF therapy can have a significant and rapid impact on pain from early knee OA and that larger clinical trials are warranted.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=22451021%5Buid%5D
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Henry Ford Hospital, CFP 644, 2799 West Grand Blvd., Detroit, MI 48202