EXPLAINING MAGNETIC FIELD THERAPY
by Drs. James E. Bullock and Kevin J. May of Bullock’s Veterinary Hospital
The therapy with pulsating magnetic fields (PMF) is a relatively new and very effective form of physical therapy. It is not a miracle, but simply a physical (or better. biophysical) modality used in the medical branch and utilized for accelerated therapeutic purposes.
The use of PMF is a very efficient and simple therapy method. By influencing the animal either generally or locally with a magnetic field packed in impulse bundles the cellular functions can be improved considerably. The pulsating magnetic field has a high biological effectiveness, which is being used in the medical field as a means of therapy as well as in the area of diagnostics. Today we have two basic magnetic therapies, the direct one with a magnetic field that serves as a medium for the inductive production of a current in a special implant.
Magnetic fields cannot be absorbed; they can only be shielded against shunting them into strong ferromagnetic materials. Therefore, it is difficult to produce field-free spaces when magnetic fields strike a material. We differentiate between so-called paramagnetic substances in which a bundling or a concentration of magnetic field lines occur, and the so-called diamagnetic substances, in which a decentralization of the field lines results. Air is neutral.
The animal’s body is only insignificantly diamagnetic and paramagnetic; basically, it is neutral. So whenever field lines impact on the animal organism or on parts of it, they absolutely permeate these areas. Compared to known methods this is the first important discovery. Within the range of magnetic fields, all parts of the body are penetrated completely by the field lines.
It is known that the human and animal organism consists of a large number of cells. These cells are functioning electrically. If there is no electrical potential left in the cell, it is no longer viable. These cells have a basic (or rest) potential that is necessary for normal cellular metabolism.
Diseased or damaged cells have an altered rest potential. If the ions (electrically charged particles surrounding the cells) move into the area of pulsating magnetic fields, they will be influenced by the rhythm of the pulsation. The rest potential of the cell is proportional to the ion exchange occurring at the cell membrane.
The ion exchange is also responsible for the oxygen utilization of the cell. Pulsating magnetic fields can dramatically influence the ion exchange at the cellular level and thereby greatly improve the oxygen utilization of diseased or damaged tissues. The deterioration of the oxygen utilization is known to be a problem in several medical branches, especially delayed healing and arthritis of joints. Thus, the wide range of indications are:
- Orthopedics. traumatology, rheumatology, after-treatment of complicated and simple fractures, wound treatment, burns, and degenerative diseases of the apparatus of support and locomotion.
- Coronary and circulatory diseases;
- Disorders of the neurological system.
From bibliography and clinical experiments, we know that pulsating magnetic fields are able to reduce pain sensations almost immediately. This is due in part to the increase in the oxygen partial pressure in the terminal tissue and the increase in the local perfusion and velocity of the capillary blood flow alleviating the accumulation of metabolites due to small vascularization and blood flow (transmitted by the sympathetic nervous system).
The above mentions the wide area of indications but says nothing of contraindications and side effects. There are no absolute contraindications to magnetic therapy except in cases of hemorrhage or where electrical implants already are in use. In contrast to chemical medicaments, there is no over dosage, at least within the field range that we are presently using for treatments. Magnetic field powers of maximum 100 gauss are far less than field powers that have negative biological effects.
The PMF therapy is an absolutely heatless therapy method, not a heat producing method, not a heat producing therapy. Therefore, all implants (except heart pacemakers) can be treated. Our hospital has used PMF therapy to accelerate the healing of those horses needing pins and bone plates. No damaging heat will be produced in the implants. Furthermore, all implants are antimagnetic. The treatment of fractures can also be applied with a plaster cast because, as mentioned before, magnetic fields permeate all materials.
The therapeutic effect of such treatments lasts for approximately six to eight hours. This shows that the majority of all cases at the beginning of a series of treatments daily. Only after five to 10 days can the treatment regime be reduced to one treatment daily or every other day. In very chronic or extremely difficult cases, this treatment may be longer. The wide experience concerning the application of this therapy implies that an alternate solution has been found in accelerating the healing time of many of our common injuries affecting our running horses, as well as possible therapy for those patients who have been resistant to other therapies and those patients injured by the side effects of other therapies.