Efficacy of pulsed electromagnetic therapy for chronic lower back pain: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study

P. B. Lee, Y. C. Kim, Y. J. Lim, C. J. Lee, Sang Sik Choi, S. H. Park, J. G. Lee, S. C. Lee

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22 Citations (Scopus)


This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial studied the effectiveness of pulsed electromagnetic therapy (PEMT) in patients with chronic lower back pain. Active PEMT (n = 17) or placebo treatment (n = 19) was performed three times a week for 3 weeks. Patients were assessed using a numerical rating scale (NRS) and revised Oswestry disability scores for 4 weeks after therapy. PEMT produced significant pain reduction throughout the observation period compared with baseline values. The percentage change in the NRS score from baseline was significantly greater in the PEMT group than the placebo group at all three time-points measured. The mean revised Oswestry disability percentage after 4 weeks was significantly improved from the baseline value in the PEMT group, whereas there were no significant differences in the placebo group. In conclusion, PEMT reduced pain and disability and appears to be a potentially useful therapeutic tool for the conservative management of chronic lower back pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-167
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of International Medical Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Jan 1



  • Lower back pain
  • Pulsed electromagnetic therapy
  • Revised oswestry disability score

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Biochemistry, medical

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