Foley-Nolan D, Barry C, Coughlan RJ, O’Connor P, Roden D.
Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.
In the majority of patients with neck pain, symptoms will resolve spontaneously or quite quickly in response to therapy. However, some patients’ symptoms persist for a long period, irrespective of therapy. In this study, 20 patients with persistent (greater than 8 weeks) neck pain were enrolled in a double blind, placebo-controlled trial of low energy, pulsed electromagnetic therapy (PEMT)–a treatment previously shown to be effective in soft tissue injuries. For the first 3-week period, group A (10 patients) received active PEMT units while group B (10 patients) received facsimile placebo units. After 3 weeks, both pain (visual analogue scale (P less than .023) and range of movement (P less than .002) had improved in the group on active treatment compared to the controls. After the second 3 weeks, during which both groups used active units, there were significant improvements in observed scores for pain and range of movement in both groups. PEMT, in the form described, can be used at home easily in the treatment of patients with neck pain. It is frequently successful and without side effects.
Orthopedics. 1990 Apr;13(4):445-51.