A recent study published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation highlights the potential utility of Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy in the treatment of patients with shoulder pain due to shoulder impingement syndrome.
In this well-designed placebo controlled study, patients were randomized to three weeks of PEMF treatment vs. placebo, followed by an active shoulder physical therapy program. Those receiving PEMF treatment began to note significant improvements in pain and function at the onset of PEMF treatment that continued through their participation in therapy exercises. The placebo group also demonstrated improvements in pain and function scores, but only after the exercise portion of the program and not during placebo PEMF treatment. Only those in the treatment PEMF group were noted to have improvements in strength following the program. Although some caution should be taken in interpreting the data from this study due to the lack of statistical significance between the groups, this research adds to the growing body literature noting potential benefits of PEMF in the treatment of patients with musculoskeletal disorders.