Pulsed low energy high frequency fields: current status and futuretrends
Abstract: Pulsed electromagnetic therapy (PEMT) in the form of pulsed 27mHz (short wave diathermy) at relatively high power levels with peak powers up to 200 watts has within the last few years established a niche in most physiotherapy departments across the world. At these relatively high energy levels it is impossible to say with certainty that thermal effects can be excluded. The recent development of equally effective lower power therapies clearly indicates that we are dealing not only with thermal but also athermal effects, ie. with the action of electric and magnetic fields at a cellular level. As for the higher energies, impressive anti-inflammatory, pro-healing and pro-nerve regenerative effects have been reported. An increasing understanding of the importance of low voltage biomechanical phenomena in pain modulation and inflammation and of the specificity of different forms of PEMT in terms of pulse characteristics and resultant effects suggests that we will be able to modulate the function of these systems with precision using highly specific PEMT in the future. The background current status and possible future applications of low energy high frequency PEMT will be dealt with in this paper.