Medically Reviewed by Dr. Luis Alberto Vallejo
What is magnetotherapy?
Therapeutic technique that consists in the application of artificial magnetic fields, in the presence of trauma or dysfunction, controlling the frequency and intensity of these fields.
The Earth’s magnetic field offers living beings effective protection against solar radiation.
The intensity of the Earth’s magnetic field is about 0.5 Gauss today.
The Earth’s magnetic field experiences important variations.
Living beings are accustomed to this magnetic field and their absence causes serious disorders.
In astronauts, it has been observed that being outside the reach of the Earth’s magnetic field, there are changes in calcium metabolism with the appearance of osteoporosis (Frequency of Protein Resonance, NASA USA, 1977).
Magnetotherapy consists in reproducing the terrestrial magnetic field to which we are all subjected, which demonstrates the safety of the technique.
While the magnetic field is 0.5 Gauss and constant, artificial magnetic fields can rise to higher levels (180 Gauss peak power).
You can control its frequency; the emission of the field either continuously or pulsatingly; the pulse form (sinusoidal, semi-sinusoidal, rectified sinusoidal, square etc.) and the application time.
Generally, magnetic therapy uses pulsating magnetic fields with frequencies between 1-100 Hz and with minimum intensities of 5 Gauss and maximum of 100 Gauss.
The application of magnetic fields produced by electric current, which constitute the magnetotherapy itself, can be differentiated from the magnetic fields obtained by natural or artificial magnets known as therapy.
The magnetic fields applied in medicine are low frequency and low intensity.
Physical Basis of Magnetotherapy
- When the electric current passes through a conductive wire, it generates a magnetic field coaxial to said wire.
- The density of the magnetic field at a given point is directly proportional to the distance that separates the point considered from the conducting wire, from the current. If with this conducting wire a spiral is formed, a solenoid is obtained.
- A solenoid is a set of successive and ordered magnetic sheets according to their north-south polarity.
- Said solenoid is governed by Maxwell’s rules or “corkscrew” rule that says “the direction of the magnetic field force lines generated by a current, is determined by the movement of a corkscrew that advances in the direction of the current. Inside the solenoid, the magnetic field created will be uniform and oriented parallel to the axis of the spiral that forms it.
- The intensity of this magnetic field is calculated: Intensity = Amps x number of turns (in gauss)/Length (in meters) of the solenoid. 1 Gauss = 1 West. 1 Gauss = 10-4 Tesla.
- The generated magnetic field varies depending on the type of current that the solenoid crosses.
- If the current is continuous the magnetic field will be continuous. If the current is variable the magnetic field will be too.
- For treatment purposes we look for a pulsating magnetic field, it is used by circulating an alternating current through the solenoid.
Mechanism of action of Magnetotherapy
The mechanism of action of magnetic fields is simple.
If we place various parts of the organism in the zone of action of the magnetic fields, the magnetic lines cross these surfaces completely and not only act on the superficial tissues but also cross the entire organism, including the bones and all the organs, reaching the absolute depth
With its application it reaches all the cells, sodium and potassium ions found in the cell and the colloidal system.
A change in the electrical potential of the cell membrane originates, the result of which is an accentuated ion exchange.
It improves blood circulation in the vessels and capillaries that is observed very well with thermography.
Organic defenses increase, which is one of its main effects.
In recent experiments it was shown that the partial pressure of oxygen in tissues can increase by %1,000 when magnetic fields act on them at a certain intensity and frequency.
Ardenne in 1976 published that deficit states due to lack of oxygen in organic cells are much more frequent than was supposed as the primary cause of numerous diseases
With magnetic field therapy you can in these cases:
- Reduce pain
- Relax the spasm.
- Obtain anti-inflammatory effect, with simultaneous strengthening of organic defenses and energy recovery
Effects of magnetotherapy
- Specific stimulation of calcium metabolism in bone and on the collagen known as Piezoelectric Effect of Magnetotherapy: It is considered that the bone directs its shape and structure based on electrical discharges that create an environment of electronegativity or electropositivity when it deforms, resembling charges negative in convexity and positive in concavity.
- Anti-inflammatory: Prostaglandin and histamine release.
- Analgesic: Not immediate but lasting.
- General sedation
- Paradoxical pain: It is the reaction of cellular activation, it is a pain that occurs between the first and the fifth day after starting treatment.
- Rheumatic processes
- Periarticular rheumatisms
- Disorders of ossification
- Peripheral vascular pathology
- Vertiginous syndromes secondary to microcirculation disorders.
- Pre-infarction states
- Intermittent claudication
- Diabetic angiopathy
- Angina pectoris
- Coronary insufficiency