This study was done in order to evaluate the efficacy and safety of electromagnetic therapy in the treatment of chronic pain.
The sixty subjects were randomly allocated into 2 groups receiving treatments by electromagnetic devices and sham control using a double-blind placebo controlled design of study.
There were 60 subjects, 13 males and 47 females with their ages ranging between 18 to 74 years old. They were divided into two groups of 30 each.
The average age of treated group was 52.8 years and that of control group was 41.97 years old. There were no statistically significant differences between the groups with respect to sex distribution.
There were 44 subjects who were considered eligible for statistical analysis. They were all recruited from Orthopedics Department classified into 12 males (27.3% of the total of 47) and 32 females (72.7% of the total 47).
They were between 18 to 74 years old with the mean of 47.36 years and the standard deviations of 13.21.
<The reports continues with tables and charts for the study results>
This study demonstrated the efficacy of electromagnetic devices in relieving various chronic pain conditions. The methods of pain evaluation employed are widely used in clinical trials for measuring pain relief.
The results clearly showed that the treated group had a significantly greater pain relief than the placebo-controlled group.
The effectiveness of electromagnetic therapy shown in this study suggests that electromagnetic devices may be considered as one of the alternative treatments for chronic pain.
The safety of these devices in continuous application for 6 weeks was also demonstrated in this study.
However, before using these devices, medical consultation should be first sought for especially to diagnose the etiology of diseases.
The mechanism of pain relief produced by electromagnetic devices is still not clearly understood.
The results of this study indicated the significant decrease in blood pressure after being treated by electromagnetic devices. This suggested that electromagnetic energy may result in vasodilatation and increase in blood circulation.
It may also explain how electromagnetic therapy may cause pain relief. However, it is not easy to explain about electromagnetic therapy by using western scientific discipline. The principle of acupuncture and acupressure may be more useful to explain how electromagnetic therapy works.
The evaluation of efficacy and safety of electromagnetic devices by using double-blind placebo controlled study is rather difficult to perform. The subjects who seemed not to respond to the treatments received are likely to miss their appointments.
In this study, more subjects in the treated group maintained regular visits than the control group. This also pointed out that electromagnetic treatment is more effective than placebo control.
Due to the difficulty in performing double blind study, it is not surprising to have most paper published about electromagnetic therapy being done as open study.
In conclusion, this study clearly demonstrated that electromagnetic therapy was effective in the treatment of chronic pain. The effect of pain relief was more superior to placebo. After receiving the treatments continuously for 6 weeks, subjects did not complain of any adverse effects.
However, this study was done in a limited period of time and high dropout rate was also observed. The safety data for a long term use should be further evaluated. It is recommended that electromagnetic devices are best to be employed under medical supervision.
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