Magnetotherapy – Magnet Therapy: Physical Fundamentals, Therapeutic Effects

Also known as Biomagnetism, it is one of the basic physiotherapeutic procedures.

The basic form, the application of the static magnetic field (the permanent magnet), has been used since time immemorial as one of the natural sources of healing.

It should be noted that Magnetotherapy is the predecessor of Biomagnetism, and the latter is the one that gains more importance thanks to the scientific advances and tests developed by Dr. Isaac Goiz of Mexico.

Magnet therapy is the treatment through the application of magnets. The human body itself is a magnet, when there is imbalance in the flow between the two poles, disease occurs.

Biomagnetism and energy flow at a certain frequency between the two poles of each cell / organ. The earth and the human body are magnets.

However, only the arrival of the electronics and the powerful switching elements allows the rapid development of low frequency pulse magnet therapy. Whose effects are several times higher than those of the static magnetic field.

Recent studies imply that the therapy carried out by means of the electromagnetic pulse field is up to 100 times more effective than the application of the stationary magnetic field.

That is why magnetic therapy is now becoming a widely used physiotherapeutic method.

With some conditions (for example, chronic pain in degenerative joint diseases) this method has proved to be successful as a therapy with a long-term therapeutic effect even when other therapeutic methods fail.

Magnetic therapy can be very effective with the correct indication and application.

It can also be recommended for use in combination with other therapy methods such as pharmacotherapy, whose effects are usually supported by magnetic therapy.

That is why magnetic therapy should not be omitted in the case of an integral treatment approach, nor given as a preference for monotherapy. The latest findings on the physiological response of the organism to the electromagnetic field imply the following effects of magnetotherapy:

  • analgesic effect
  • Antiedematous effect.
  • Antiphlogistic effect.
  • Trophic effect (acceleration of healing and growth).
  • Myorelaxed and spasmolytic effect.
  • Vasodilation

Physical foundations of magnetotherapy

The magnetic field is an integral part of the electromagnetic field consisting of electrical and magnetic components.

Both components of the electromagnetic field are mutually connected and can not exist without the other, except in the following two special cases:

  • Electrostatic field in which the magnetic component of the field is zero.
  • Stationary magnetic field in which the electrical component is zero.

Due to the frequencies used up to 150 Hz and due to the design of the BTL applicators, the magnetic component of the field predominates over the electric one.

The presence of a magnetic field is detected mainly through its force effects by which it affects magnetically conductive things, moving charges and conductors with electric current flowing through them.

The effects of force are not very important for our theory, because biological objects are diamagnetic.

However, it is necessary to take into account these effects of force in the case of metallic implants, especially those that are fixed in soft tissues and are not made of antimagnetic materials.

Another interaction between the magnetic field and matter occurs at the moment when matter is exposed to the magnetic field.

At that time, the individual free molecules are oriented so as to minimize the energy within the field.

In the case of biological objects, these forces act against the bonds between the atoms, molecules and ions in the tissues. This, therefore, also influences cellular processes.

Therapeutic effects

Magneto-therapy is one of the commonly used physiotherapeutic procedures. This method has been shown to be successful in some diseases that require long-lasting therapeutic effects (eg, chronic pain of vertebral etiology or degenerative joint diseases) even when other methods of therapy have been unsuccessful.

However, it is also necessary to consider that, like all therapeutic procedures, magnetotherapy also has a certain failure rate.

It has been shown that for the treatment of patients in acute stages it is better to use the static magnetic field at the beginning, while in chronic diseases it is better to use pulse magnetic therapy.

The application of magnet therapy should always be based on a thorough medical history and a detailed examination of the patient.

The latest findings on the physiological response of the organism to the electromagnetic field imply the following effects of magnetotherapy:

  • Analgesic effect,
  • Antiphlogistic effect,
  • Trophic effect (acceleration of healing and growth),
  • Myorelaxed and spasmolytic effect,
  • Vasodilation
  • Antiedematous effect.

Analgesic effect

The analgesic effect of magnetotherapy is applied in most of the painful conditions of the muscular and articular etiology. The detailed description of this effect is quite complicated; Its physiological effects have been specified in recent years.

According to these findings, the analgesic effect of magnetic therapy is explained by the increased secretion of endogenous opioids.

These are caused by the mycorrelation, the antiphlogistic and anti-edematous effects and perhaps also the impact on the presynaptic inhibition of the nociceptive signals at the level of the dorsal medullary horns.

The treatment should be combined with targeted pharmacotherapy, manual treatment and relaxation therapy, at least in the initial stage.

Antiphlogistic effect

This effect has not been convincingly explained until now, but recent studies agree on the following principle: The antiphlogistic effect is induced by increased phagocytosis of neutrophils and an increase in the production of superoxide.

This is followed by the induction of superoxide dismutase attached to the endothelium, which probably leads to a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the exposed area.

Due to the fact that superoxide inhibits the activity of catalase, hydrogen peroxide does not degrade and, therefore, is capable of destroying leukotrienes, which belong to the strongest activators of phagocytosis.

This mechanism also explains the initial controversial action of the magnetic field in sterile inflammations, as well as in microbially induced inflammations.

This effect also explains the temporary deterioration of rheumatic conditions during the first two or three exposures, when the inflammatory symptoms are intensified by the increase in superoxide produced.

Simultaneous medication and physiotherapy are necessary; The patient should be monitored during therapy and in case of a longer negative reaction, therapy should be stopped.