Flux Health Forum

Question about impact of PEMF on spasticity, nerve and muscle/tendon damage

I have a question concerning the continued effects of PEMF on muscle and tendon flexibility and nerve damage. This is going to be long and probably confusing. Very sorry about that. But it’s a long story to fill in the context so please bear with me. Please no one take anything that follows as a criticism…it’s not that at all. I think the technology is great and am seeking advice/help to get around what is hopefully just a bump in the road. If I put this in the wrong forum please feel free to move or whatever needs to happen.

A little background: Since I was 19 (I’m now 47) I’ve had a very slowly progressive disease, of which I still do not have a diagnosis, that causes neuropathy and myopathy. The symptoms have been very M.S. like in that it is demyelinating, was relapsing and remitting when I was younger and more and more constant and progressive as time goes on and similar in other ways too but neurologists I’ve seen don’t think It’s that, and all the testing I’ve done hasn’t established that diagnosis. It may attack the Peripheral nervous system instead of the Central. But it does seem to be some sort of autoimmune issue. While I believe in mainstream western medicine, I’ve gotten almost zero help/relief from it. And a lot of fruitless testing has drained my bank account. I’m only able to hold a job today because of alternative treatments and I’m constantly seeking new approaches. Once in awhile I find things that help. And that is what led me to pemf and Ices.

In any case there is almost always an area where it (whatever IT is) seems to be attacking my body. It becomes more severe in one area, or multiple areas, for a few days to a few weeks, and then might continue on to another area for awhile and then eventually come back and reattack old spots and occasionally new ones. This typically happens in my head, neck and torso, although it has effected my limbs somewhat as well. Over time it has clearly caused damage and things just get slowly worse in multiple locations.

The result is that I am left with a lot of spasticity and muscle/tendon stiffness and damage. The nerves seem to be demyelinated, as I have a gradually worsening sensitivity to heat. If I go outside in hot and/or humid conditions for more than a couple of minutes I will get much worse rapidly and feel bad for several days. The most troubling effects to me are cognitive. And my thinking is affected depending on where the attacks arise. The old comic gags or comics where the mad scientist performing surgery pokes a patients brain on the table and their leg kicks out sort of applies to me in reverse. Stiffness in my neck or back effects how well my brain works. I haven’t been able to run a lawn mower or ride a motorcycle or ride a rollercoaster for a long time. The vibrations carry up into my neck and head and make me feel awful …like I’ve been stunned with a hammer or like I’m going to get a concussion if I don’t stop. It’s all connected I guess. And so when I feel looser I definitely think better.

So when I learned of pemf, I researched the providers and realized that Flux was the place to buy for a lot of reasons. I purchased an M1 and was very happy with the result initially in that it seemed to be able to loosen my muscles for a few hours at least and I felt it was moving things along in the right direction. I was hopeful that some of the nerve damage would be addressed…and I did a little experimenting on my head and that seemed promising too.

But the M1 doesn’t cover much ground and so I purchased a C5 and one of Bob’s pads. I believe these are very effective tools and was happy with the immediate results. (and definitely believe in the potential for great things based on my experience)

But…(ya’ll knew there was a but coming right)…after a period of time (several weeks) where things, in terms of seemingly less impact from spasticity, seemed to maybe be getting a little better and I was optimistic, I began to have some days where I really wasn’t thinking well despite my muscles/tendons in my head, neck, shoulders and upper back, all troubling areas, being looser, or less tight from spasticity. Things felt “different” in these areas.

Now here is my struggle. I stopped using the devices a few times and would then start back up a few days later, and after initially feeling better, I seemed to feel worse after a few hours or the next day. I tried this tactic over a period of a month or so and finally got a little scared I was doing some new damage and quit altogether. So I put PEMF on pause and I moved on to explore some unrelated therapies. It’s been roughly a year since I plugged in my devices.

Now here’s the thing which complicates my situation. I get new symptoms and weird new happenings all the time with this disease. It shows up differently and does different things. MAYBE I just entered a new phase and I was going to get worse in these areas no matter what I was doing. This “felt different” however and while possibly the pemf didn’t have anything to do with the problem, I just wasn’t certain.

Possibly a similar effect happens when I do strength training…due to a loss in flexibility? I’m just speculating here, but up until the last couple of years I would do some mild strength training (just so I can look a little more buff for the ladies I guess) and I’ve mostly quit that too, because I seem to have reached a point in the progression that the tightening of areas from new muscle (or maybe the repetition of the exercise…I dunno) causes things to stiffen the next day (or longer) and so it seems I don’t think as well following this activity.

So maybe this is just the next phase in my struggle and pefm had no impact on this particular development/worsening of symptoms. That is very possible and this is what I’m hoping for because I would LOVE to get going with PEMF again.

But I’ve also worried that the accelerated healing from PEMF therapy can possibly increase stiffness, in the same way I believe can happen as we heal from any injury and why therapy is important to maintain flexibility after surgery. Or is there some sort of scar tissue that might be created? Or some other mechanism going on that could lead to increased tightness or stiffness? It might be something that wouldn’t effect other people with normally functioning tissues, but in my case it might be enough to cause an issue?

I really can’t afford to make myself worse. There are days I’m on the edge of not being able to function as it is…So my question is essentially is there anything in the literature that would suggest PEMF use causes a tightening of muscles/tendons ect…through scar tissue, or some other mechanism, that wouldn’t normally be a problem in healing a normal injury or wound? Or can it affect nerve conduction or muscle function negatively in any way?

A second question I’ve wondered about is if PEMF can help demyelinated nerves improve. I would love to be able to go back outside in the summer again someday.

A third question would be if I decide to start experimenting again, how can I do it safely? Any thoughts or suggestions?

And any suggestions or questions or requests for clarification are most welcome. I realize this is a bit meandering and out of left field. I’m simply looking for answers.

But I am really hoping I can figure this out, because, like I said, at first PEMF seemed quite promising for my issues, and I’d love to get back at it if I can. In any case I definitely believe in the therapy and will recommend it to others even if it doesn’t end up working for me. (although I’ll be darn disappointed about that if that turns out to be the case).

If anyone actually made it to the end of this, thanks for reading. You have the patience of Job. :slight_smile:

I am very sorry that you have to struggle with such a terrible progressive condition.

First, please keep in mind… PEMF is not a cure-all: it works very well for some of my conditions, and does not seem to be very helpful with others.

One thing I might suggest, and this is based on your observation several times that “initially it seems to work, but then after a while not so much any more…”

Initially, most people use much too high intensity. This is understandable, since we are all so accustomed to typical mainstream treatments that amount to “too little, too late”. The fact is, most of the creams, and devices and medications I have ever tried simply do not work. So, the natural tendency is to “crank it up, increase the dosage…” whatever. But PEMF is different. It has real biological effects, and there do not appear to be any serious side effects. But too much is too much.

So, I usually have to beg with people to “TURN IT DOWN”. some people don’t listen, they want more intensity, more area, they want to really FEEL something happening. But real PEMF does not seem to work that way.

So, if you decide to try it again, try reducing the intensity by 25% or 30%, or more. You might also reduce the duration of use if you had been using it for long sessions. More often than not with PEMF: Less is More. When people actually take my advice on this, about 95% of the time they report to me that it works better and the results are more durable and reliable.

And in your case, the best thing about this, since you asked about how to resume “safely”, is that lower intensity will inherently be safer, for any type of intervention.

So, if you decide to experiment again, please let us know what you did and how well it worked.

I really didn’t play with the settings much the first time around. 99% of the time I just left both my M1 and C5 on Omni 8 at the default setting, 8 or 9 if I remember it right, because that seemed to have a positive impact. I didn’t use it at night at all. Most sessions with the C5 were probably between 20 minutes and an hour, occasionally longer if I was watching a movie or something. There were several times I left the M1 on for a few hours as it’s so amazingly portable.

So maybe a 3 or a 4 setting for shorter sessions would be a place to start.
thanks again, Bob. Appreciate your time and your help.

OK, that sounds pretty intelligent to me. Some people are actually very sensitive (myself included, I never use intensity above 9), so try dialing it down one or two levels. If 9 seems like it is doing too much, try 6 or 7 or maybe even 8, for example. Try several different different (lower) intensity levels. I will be very interested to hear how you respond. Good luck!!

I also have nerve and tendon damage and I haven’t experienced any negative effects from using the micro-pulse. As for your stiff joints you may want to try a rebounder. Could help loosen things up. I would recommend one with bungees rather than springs coils , easier on the joints. Google best rebounders to research the different models and what will work best for you.

Thank you. I’ll look into that. And it’s very good to hear that you haven’t had any ill effects.

I’ve had my M1 for only a couple of weeks. Should I slowly turn it down as I continue to use it?

You do not have to. The healing process for many chronic conditions tends to be slow anyway. After all, when a condition is truly chronic, the healing process has ground to a halt altogether.

But with PEMF, the healing process, whatever it is: tissue recovery, wound closure, inflammation reduction, seems to move toward a state of normalcy, toward a state of healing and recovery. But this usually takes time. And what I mean by “turning it down” relates to this process. As your tissue heals, it sometimes needs less stimulus from PEMF to tip the balance toward healing. In this case, you can turn it down over time. How long is this time? Well, it depends on your unique individual condition. It may be hours, days, weeks, months, years, or more.

How can you tell? Go ahead and try turning it down a level. Keep this level for at least a few days or a week. Then, ask yourself: did I keep seeing improvements with PEMF, or did things slow down, or did things get worse? Then make changes accordingly.

If the PEMF is just as helpful at a lower level, then I would keep it at a lower level. If it does not help as much when you use lower the level, then bump it back up to a level where it was helping.

Keep in mind, it is not just intensity, but also duration and frequency. You should keep track of these too, and you will find that you can do well, or even sometimes better, with less intensity, less duration, or less frequency of use.

This is really all very individual, and it even varies for different injuries for the same person, so you just need to pay attention, make adjustments, see how those work, and adjust accordingly.

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Have you tried or tested a program|setting with random amplitude|power and frequency and overtime randomly switches to something else. Similar to transcranial random noise stimulation (don’t have one but have a tACS device)? If yes, how was it and what did you use it for?

Yes, about 7 years ago I made an A9 system with random changes in the pulse parameters. It ended up up being much more complicated, but with the same biological outcome, as a pulse pattern that changes non-randomly over time.

The benefit of changing the pattern is that it seems to prevent tissue habituation, because all biological systems become less responsive to monotonic (unchanging) signals over time. There is a clear benefit to having a pulse pattern change every few minutes, because biological systems really do tend to tune out signals that contain no information (by the formal definition of information). This is further evidence that single, fixed “magical” resonant frequencies in the field of PEMF are just nonsense. The fact is, single, monotonic frequencies are probably the least effective way to apply any signal to a biological system over long periods of time.

The benefits came from simply changing the pulse pattern every few minutes. People did not see any improvement beyond that by adding in random noise.

The parameter randomization that I was using was entirely different from the phenomenon you have asked about.

The phenomenon you are referring to is called “stochastic resonance”:

This is entirely different in the sense of detecting patterns in signals that are buried in noise.

From a more technical angle, I do think that PEMF itself may have a somewhat similar effect of threshold lowering, but not in the frequency domain, rather in the transduced electrical energy domain. This may be why, as people get older, they respond better to PEMF as they become less receptive to some of the electrical signalling that is naturally in their own body. What I mean is that by adding PEMF to endogenous paramembraneous currents, it may be that thresholds become easier to achieve, allowing normal signals in tissue to be restored to their earlier levels of effectiveness.

So, yes, I have thought about this.

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