Pain Relief

Top class magnetic therapy

Pain treatment via stimulation of the body's own opioid system


In the course of the "electrosmog discussion" and extensive study-based studies on the negative effects of electromagnetic fields of natural or artificial origin, there are a wealth of contradictory results that describe both a lowering of the pain threshold and increased pain sensitivity, as well as a decrease in pain.


For example, mice react with hyperalgesia during a magnetic storm, ie they become more sensitive to pain [1] . This, for example, also under fields of 0.5 Hz, 150 - 9,000 µT, 30 min daily for 14 days - but only at night [2] . On the other hand, the sensation of pain in snakes is blocked when they are exposed to a field of 60 Hz and 100 µT for 30 min for 6 days [3] . This can also be repeated in albino rats, where, for example, analgesia occurs with extremely weak fields of 1 µT [4] or 2 µT [5] over 30 min.


In humans, for example, continuous irregular frequencies (0.03 - 0.07 Hz) and a flux density of 20 - 70 µT reduce the pain threshold for skin stimuli (19.1%) after 2 hours and reduce toothache by 9.1% [6] . Even 37 Hz, 80 µT (30 min) lead to a 22.6% decrease in the pain threshold in the skin [7] . Likewise, a field with 40 Hz and 40 and 80 µT reduces the pain threshold for toothache after 2 hours only at 40 µT [8] .


Longer geomagnetic storms (6 days) cancel the morphine effect (10 mg / kg) in mice, for example [9] . Artificial fields of 0.5 Hz, 150 - 9 000 µT, 30 min over 14 days reduce the analgesic effect of morphine (10 mg / kg) after 5 - 10 days to [10] .


Experiments with the opiate antagonist naloxone show that in mice both naloxone and a field of 0.5 Hz, 150 - 9000 µT have the same analgesic effect after 30 min [11] . On the other hand, the analgesic effect of weak complex fields (1 µT) is eliminated by the pre-injection of naloxone in albino rats [12] . It is also surprising that, for example, stress-induced hypoalgesia (if, for example, mice have to swim in warm and cold water and the sensation of pain sinks as a result) is neutralized again by a field with 0.5 Hz, 150 - 9000 µT, 30 min, whereby here warm water produces an even stronger effect [13] .


Again, there is a human experiment that the pain threshold increases significantly compared to placebo after 30 minutes of QRS MF exposure [14] . This is also confirmed in mice in which an extremely low-frequency and low-intensity magnetic field (100 µT) has a similar analgesic effect as a moderate dose of morphine (5m / kg) [15] .


A review that deals almost exclusively with the pain-enhancing PEMF studies comes to the unexpected conclusion that new insights into pain treatment in humans would result from these findings [16] . And it is even more surprising when a patent application was filed by a Lawson Research Institute in June 1996 (published Dec. 11, 1997), in which the inventors [17] , who came from both the individual studies and the review, did are known to describe a somewhat opaque "electrotherapy device using low frequency magnetic pulses " for pain treatment. This is a coil, which in the form of a kind of cuff allows to treat pain in the extremities.


As a result, a magnetic field hood is developed, behind which so-called CNP (complex neural pulses) are supposed to stand. This is a low-frequency PEMF with a very low flux density. The applicants refer to findings that a frequency-modulated magnetic field (100 µT), for example in snakes (Capaea nemoralis), produces significant analgesia, ie pain relief [18] . This also happens in rats when they are exposed to painful thermal stimuli [19] and also in humans by a study by Shupak NM et al.


Although the authors explain the underlying mechanism of action as largely misunderstood, there are indications that it is related to a “modulation” of the body's own opioid system. They also emphasize the influence that PEMF-related mood enhancement has, which influences pain perception. The dopaminergic system also apparently reacts to PEMF. It is therefore not surprising that in a double-blind crossover study (0.4 - 1.1 mT) the pain threshold for sensations on the skin under PEMF increases by more than 50% [20] .


It is noteworthy that 90% of the participants in the study were women - which confirms the results of the Shupak study, according to which the positive PEMF effects in women are evident to a greater extent. However, they find no evidence of an influence on the dopaminergic system, so that the result of analgesia by PEMF is unlikely to be related. With regard to the flux densities used, these are in the range of <1 mT [21] , <500 nT (here especially at 120 Hz) [22] and even <50 nT [23] .


Mammals have a magnetic field receptor

From the study mentioned, it is also possible to derive the important finding that mammals have a currently proven chemical magnetic field receptor (cryptochrome) [24] . This assumption was made earlier in connection with the analgesia phenomenon that occurred in snakes, which were briefly exposed to PEMF [25] . Cryptochrome is actually a light-sensitive protein that affects the processes of circadian rhythm in plants and many fungi, flies and mammals. In mammals, cryptochrome is a photosensitive pigment in the retina. In other tissues, however, it can also function independently of light [26] . By binding to cellular proteins, it is transported into the cell nucleus and controls the availability of transcription factors. This could also explain why PEMF effects are obviously also light-dependent.


Transcription factors synchronize the activity of the genes with the respective metabolic situation. In adult cells, they control growth, cell division and apoptosis via mRNA. There are so-called activators that promote the activity of DNA polymerase and also repressors with the opposite effect.

Evidence of the analgesic or opioid effects of PEMF is based on studies that describe, for example, an opioid-receptor-mediated mechanism [27] . In the case of pharmacologically initiated anesthesia, its duration of action is extended via a magnetic field by activating the body's endorphin system and / or increasing the activity of the opioid signaling pathways [28] .


It also appears that the ability of magnetic fields to control the central cholinergic system is also related to the activation of the opioid system. After all, it is possible to use the opioid receptor antagonist naloxone to reduce the decrease in choline absorption in the brain of rats caused by magnetic fields [29] . Overall, this is of far-reaching importance since opioid peptides also act as growth modulators and control both the cell differentiation and the cell architecture of many tissues [30] , [31] , [32] .


In a cell culture study (cardiac muscle cells), magnetic field exposure led to a significant increase in the expression of opioid genes. Direct “irradiation” of isolated nuclei from cardiac muscle cells also showed that prodynorphin gene transcription increased significantly [33] . This was done by activating the nuclear protein kinase. This led to a sharp increase in the synthesis and secretion of Dynorphin B.


Dynorphins are a group of endogenous opioid peptides, i.e. self-made opioids. They play an important role in pain perception or pain suppression. Endogenous opioids include endorphins, enkephalins and dynorphins.


Magnetic field experiments with MFC-7 cells (breast cancer cells) show that the use of weak PEMF can produce the same analgesic effect as morphine. This primarily results in activity of the mu-opioid receptor. Since the use of morphine derivatives themselves promotes metastasis [34] , the authors conclude that magnetic fields of certain intensities and frequency patterns should be used for pain treatment.


In addition to the model of an increase in blood circulation, which can dissolve muscle contractions and thus play an important therapeutic role in pain of the musculoskeletal system or myofacial syndromes, the PEMF is within the framework of special intensities and frequencies, also via an activation of the body's own opioid system (endorphins) in pain treatment centrally effective.


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[2] Kavaliers M et al. Magnetic fields abolish the enhanced nocturnal analgesic response to morphine in mice. Physiol Behav 1984; 32: 261-264

[3] Kavaliers M. Ossenkopp KP. Repeated naloxone treatments and exposure to weak 60 Hz magnetic field have analgetic effects in snails. Brain Res 1993; 620: 159-162

[4] Ryczko MC, Persinger MA Increased analgesia to thermal stimuli in rats old letter exposures to complex pulsed 1 µT magnetic fields. Perceptual and Motor Skills 2002; 95: 592-598

[5] Martin LJ. Persinger MA. Spatial heterogeneity of the magnetic field during exposures to complex frequency-modulated patterns facilitates analgesia. Percept Motor Skills. 2003; 96: 1005-1012

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[7] Ghione S et al. Human head exposure to a 37 Hz electromagnetic field: effects on blood pressure, somatosensory perception, and related parameters. Bioelectromagnetics 2004; 25: 167-175

[8] Ghione S et al. Effects of 50 Hz electromagnetic fields on electroencephalographic alpha activity, dental pain threshold and cardiovascular parameters in humans. Neurosci Letters 2005; 382: 112-117

[9] Ossenkopp KP et al. Reduced nocturnal morphine analgesia in mice following a geomagnetic disturbance. Neurosci Letters 1983; 40: 321-325

[10] Kavaliers et al. Magnetic fields abolis the enhanced nocturnal analgesic response to morphine in mice. Physiol Behav 1984; 32: 261-64

[11] Kavaliers M, Ossenkopp KP. Stress-induced opiod analgesia and activity in mice: inhibitory influences of exposure to magnetic fields. PsyPharmocol 1986; 89: 440-443

[12] Martin LJ et al. Thermal analgesic effects from weak, complex magnetic fields and pharmacological interactions. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 2004; 78: 217-227

[13] Kavaliers M, Ossenkopp KP. Day-night rhythms of opioid and non-opioid stress-induced analgesia: differential inhibitory effects of exposure to magnetic fields. Pain 1988; 32: 223-229

[14] Shupak NM et al. Human exposure to a specific pulsed magnetic field: effects on thermal sensory on pain thresholds. Neurosci Lett. 2004 Jun 10; 363 (2): 157-62

[15] Shupak NM et al. Analgesic and behavioral effects of a 100 microT specific pulsed extremely low frequency magnetic field on control and morphine treated CF-1 mice. Neurosci Lett 2004 Jan 2; 354 (1): 30-3

[16] Del Seppia et al. Pain preception and electromagnetic fields. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 2007; 31: 619-642

[17] Alex W. Thomas, Frank S. Prato, Martin I. Kavaliers, Michael A. Persinger. WO1997046277 A1

[18] Thomas AW et al. Antinociceptive effects of a pulsed magnetic field in the land snail, Cepaea nemoralis. Neurosci Lett 1997; 222 (2): 107-10

[19] Martin LJ, Koren SA, Persinger MA. Influence of a complex magnetic field application in rats upon thermal nociceptive thresholds: the importance of polarity and timing. Int J Neurosci 2004; 114 (10): 1259-76

[20] Kortekaas R et al. A novel magnetic stimulator increases experimental pain tolerance in healthy volunteers - a double-blind sham-controlled crossover study. PLoS One 2013; 8 (4): e61926

[21] Robertson JA et al. Evidence for a dose-dependent effect of pulsed magnetic fields on pain processing. Neurosci Lett 2010: 482 (2)>: 160-2

[22] Prato FS et al. The detection threshold for extremely low frequency magnetic fields may be below 1000 nT-Hz in mice. Bioelectromagnetics 2011; 32 (7): 561-9

[23] Cuppen JJM et al. Immune stimulation in fish and chicken through weak low frequency electromagnetic fields. Environmentalist 2007; 27 (4): 577-583

[24] Maeda K et al. Magnetically sensitive light-induced reactions in cryptochrome are consistent with its proposed role as a magnetoreceptor. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2012; 109 (13): 4774-9

[25] Prato FS, Kavaliers M, Thomas AW. Light-dependent an -independent behavioral effects of extremely low frequency magnetic fields in a land snail are consistent with a parametric resonance mechanism. Bioelectomagnetics 1997; 18 (3): 284-91

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[28] Rojavin MA, Ziskin MC. Electromagnetic millimeter-waves increase the duration of anesthesia caused by ketamine and chloral hydrate in mice. In J Radiat Biol 1997; 72: 475-480

[29] Lai H et al. Effects of a 60-Hz magnetic field on central cholinergic systems of the rat. Bioelectromagnetics 1993; 14: 5-15

[30] Zagon IS et al. Distribution of enkephalin immunoreactivity in germinative cells of developing rat cerebellum. Science 1985; 227: 1049-1051

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[33] Ventura C et al. Eleven-pulsed magnetic fields modulate opioid peptide gene expression in myocardial cells. Cardiovasc Res 2000; 45: 1054-1064

[34] Simon RH Arbo TE. Morphine increases metastatic tumor growth. Brain Res Bull 1986; 16: 363-367

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