225 patients and their diabetic neuropathic pain was being explored in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel study (Weintraub et al., 2009) which took place in 16 academic and clinical sites located across 13 different countries around the world.
This scientific work published in the official journal of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine was conducted on 225 patients suffering with symptomatic diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
The international team tried to determine whether repetitive and cumulative exposure of painful feet to low-frequency pulsed magnetic therapy with 8-25 Hz frequencies would alleviate neuropathic pain, affect sleep quality and promote nerve regeneration.
This very large study eventually brought interesting and positive results. Skin biopsy in three standard areas of the lower limb confirmed significant increase in the density of epidermal nerve fibers even though such configuration of pulsed magnetic field did not provide significant relief from neuropathic pain.
The team of scientists therefore suggested further more complex testing of low-frequency pulsed magnetic therapy with higher intensities and longer duration of therapeutic applications. The reason for this proposal was, among other things, the fact that patients experienced overall improvement and reduction of itching in the feet.
Reference: Weintraub, M. I. et al. (2009) Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields to Reduce Diabetic Neuropathic Pain and Stimulate Neuronal Repair: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. 90 (7), 1102–1109.
Pulsed electromagnetic fields to reduce diabetic neuropathic pain and stimulate neuronal repair
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Related diagnosis: Diabetic foot
Find out more about PEMF: Principle of Pulse Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF)