The present paper describes the effects of pulsed magnetic fields (MF) on diseases of different joints, in chronic as well as acute conditions where the presence of a phlogistic process is the rule. Optimal parameters for MF applications were sought at the beginning of the study and then applied for 11 years; a technical modification in the MF generator was introduced 5 years ago to satisfy the requirement of a hypothesis advanced to understand the mechanism of MF treatment. 3,014 patients were treated by means of MF at extremely low frequencies and intensities. Patient follow-up was pursued as constantly as possible. Pain removal, recovery of joint mobility and maintenance of the improved conditions represented the parameters for judging the results as good or poor. The chi-square test was applied in order to evaluate the probability that the results are not casual. A general average value of 78.8% of good results and 21.2% of poor results was obtained. Higher (82%) percentages of good results were observed when single joint diseases were considered with respect to multiple joint diseases (polyarthrosis); in the latter, the percentage of good results was definitely lower (66%). The high percentage of good results obtained and the absolute absence of both negative results and undesired side-effects, together with the therapeutic advantage due to a technical modification in the MF generator, led to the conclusion that magnetic field treatment is an excellent physical therapy in cases of joint diseases. A hypothesis is advanced that external magnetic fields influence transmembrane ionic activity.
Università di Bologna, Italy