From Bob Dennis, owner of Micro-Pulse; I have a financial interest in the sale of PEMF devices, so please take that potential bias into account when considering my statements
My primary motivation for developing ICES-PEMF, which has become the core technology for Micro-Pulse, is that I was suffering very severe, crippling chronic lower back pain from a long series of injuries to my back. I have a lot of direct, personal experience with PEMF and pain. This is really what I designed the Micro-Pulse system for, so I have much more to contribute about this topic than the other uses of PEMF.
At its worst in ~ 2007, the only treatments that gave me any relief were chiropractic, inversion, and opioids. All combined, on a good day I could manage my pain from a 10 down to a 6 or 7. But sometimes these did not help, and I spent a lot of time in a spiral of increasing desperation.
At that time, I was developing a commercial cell-processing PEMF system based on the PEMF system I had developed for NASA in 1996-97. One night, at 1:00AM, in blinding pain and out of sheer desperation, I strapped the clunky commercial PEMF coil from the system I was building onto my lower back. Within 14 minutes the pain had subsided and I had the most profound lower back “self-adjustment” I had ever experienced. The cracking sounds were clearly audible, and my spine settled into a wonderful, pain-free alignment. This lasted about 2-3 days, and the pain slowly returned as my spine went out of alignment over time. I reapplied this crude PEMF again, a large and cumbersome commercial system that was abut the size of a microwave oven, and again my back realigned itself and the pain quickly dissipated.
With PEMF, my pain immediately went down to a 2 or 3, and progressively continued over the course of months to reduce down to zero pain with daily use. I discontinued the use of opioids but continue to use PEMF on my lower back every day.
As a result of these very moving experiences, and getting my life back again, I decided the world needed a reliable, affordable, portable PEMF system. So, I spent several years designing and refining the system, and testing it on my own back. Without PEMF, my pain would return in a matter of days, so I could easily test what was working, and what was not, and this allowed me to refine the design down to the Micro-Pulse technology I offer today.
Since then I have talked to many PEMF experts and several thousand people who use PEMF, including over 150 clinicians. I have run a number of scientific experiments and collected a lot of anecdotal data.
Based on all of this, I will tell you what I believe is true:
Properly used, PEMF seems to help significantly reduce pain about 93.5% of the time (based on my informal polling). About 6% or 7% of people do not respond, and I do not know why.
The most important parameter for PEMF is waveform shape, not gauss or frequency. It requires some calculus and physics to understand why this is so.
At least 95% of the “information” you read about PEMF on the Internet is just marketing gibberish.
Nonetheless, most PEMF systems do seem to work pretty well. But the scientific truth is that no one knows why PEMF works at the biophysical (molecular) level.
For pain, especially localized pain, Micro-Pulse ICES-PEMF can be applied locally by simply placing the coils directly over the painful area and using the system for as long as possible, every day.
I do not think PEMF simply masks pain.
Simply masking pain would, by common sense, only tend to make the cause of the pain get worse. This is the trend we see that results from the use of “pain blocking” drugs and devices.
Pain is a signal from the body that something is wrong. Blocking or ignoring it is foolish, and will only lead to more pain in the future. PEMF seems to act to reduce pain at its source. I hypothesize scientifically that this involves reduced inflammation which enhances tissue recovery.
You do need to experiment a little bit to find the best intensity level and coil placement. Usually medium to high level intensities work best for most people, but they do not need and will not respond as fast to maximum intensity in most cases. Properly designed, PEMF does not require a lot of power or “Gauss”. It requires mainly a properly-shaped waveform.
If it works for you, and you continue to use ICES-PEMF even after the pain has subsided for another 2 weeks, it turns out that in about 80% of cases the pain never returns. So, about 20% of people (myself included) need to keep using ICES-PEMF daily to keep the pain at bay.
Different people respond differently. There is no such thing as one secret or correct “frequency”. The model A9 uses a pulse pattern that seems to work well for almost everyone, but you can experiment with the model M1 if you want to try different pulse patterns work better for you. I did a blinded beta-test of pulse patterns for use on pain. Different individuals varied only by about 10 - 15%. Most patterns worked pretty well, and the differences were individual, not systematic. So you can experiment to see what works best for you.
To provide the most help for other people, you might respond and comment with the type and location of your pain, the severity and duration, other things you tried that helped (or not). Then include which PEMF system you used, how you used it, and the results you observed.
HOW TO HELP:
What we are looking for is as much information as you can share about your condition, how you used PEMF, and the results you observed. You can upload photos and documents as well as your text. The more detail you include, the better. You can come back later, edit your text to add more details, upload images, documents and test results, add helpful links, etc. Also, don’t forget to ask questions, because this will help people to share their observations and experiences that they may have forgotten to mention.
Share what worked and how you did it, but negative results are just as important as positive results!!! If you tried something that did not work well, this experience would help other people too. People respond very differently and have different levels of sensitivity, so something may work well for others, but not for you. What we need is a lot of different observations from many different people so that we can begin to see larger patterns and formulate general guidelines about what is likely to be helpful, what is likely to be wrong, which options should be explored, and which options can be avoided.