Multiple studies have shown the benefits of Pulsed Electromagnetic Felds (PEMF) in treating pain, including pain associated with osteoarthritis, in humans. Studies show PEMF therapy increases circulation, reduces swelling, relieves pain and stimulates an anti-inflammatory response.
We here in the animal world have long believed in the potential for PEMF to help four-legged friends suffering from chronic pain, which led to the creation of the EMbrace Relief System– a wearable garment fitted with PEMF technology that can provide pets with relief from their aches and pains.
We were thrilled to find researchers taking an interest in how PEMF can help dogs with osteoarthritis.
In 2010, researchers at the University of Bologna in Italy released the results of their study on the effect of PEMF therapy on dogs with osteoarthritis.
Here are the details:
The study included 18 dogs of different breeds that had experienced lameness for at least four weeks and that had a radiographic diagnosis of osteoarthritis in one or more of their joints.
Dogs underwent PEMF treatment during which they were lain down on a pulsated magnetic field mat for 10 minutes after which a small pad was applied to their affected joint for eight minutes. Treatments were at least three times a week for a total of 20 sessions. While participating in the study none of the dogs were given any anti-inflammatory drugs.
For each of the dogs, researchers evaluated lameness, pain on manipulation and palpation, and range of motion at the beginning of the study, after the 10th treatment and after the 20th treatment. In addition, radiographic assessments were completed before the first session and after the 20th and owners completed questionnaires to assess their dog’s chronic pain and its impact on their health-related quality of life as related to behavioral change as well as share how satisfied they were with the PEMF therapy. Researchers followed up with the dogs four months and 12 months after the initial study with clinical and radiographic assessments as well as questionnaires for the owners.
Researchers reported that, at just half therapy, a majority of the dogs in the study improved with PEMF treatment with respect to their baseline lameness and pain values. What’s more, these benefits lasted without the use of any anti-inflammatory drugs.
After the first session, 77.8 percent of the dogs had pain on manipulation of the joint.
After the 10th session, only 14.3 percent of the dogs had any pain on manipulation of the joint; 85 percent of dogs had improved at least one grade.
After the 20th session, only 9.5 percent of the dogs had pain on manipulation; 90 percent had improved at least one grade.
Four months after treatment all 18 dogs had maintained the benefits reported after the 20th session.
12 months after treatment, 11 dogs were examined and two showed lameness and pain.
Finally, 45 percent of the downers reported improvement in vitality, appetite, and lameness after the fifth treatment.
While researchers did not see any noticeable decrease in signs of osteoarthritis in scans as they’d expected at the start of the study, they believe that the 20 sessions the dogs underwent was just not sufficient enough to show any x-ray changes to their bones and cartilage. They also cited a 2008 study of the effect of PEMF treatment on Guinea Pigs that showed PEMF slowed the development of osteoarthritic lesions in study participants.
“In conclusion, PEMF is a non-invasive remedy, lacking in an adverse effect, easy to employ, and useful for controlling pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis,” researchers reported.
For Your Pet
Animal Ortho Care strives to be at the cutting edge of innovative treatments for pets. We now offer the EMbrace Relief System, an easy-to-use garment that allows dogs experiencing the effects of hip or shoulder dysplasia– pain, inflammation, and osteoarthritis– to experience the benefits of PEMF technology from the comfort of their home.