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Low-frequency Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy in Fibromyalgia: A Randomized, Double-blind, Sham-controlled Clinical Study

Sutbeyaz, Serap Tomruk MD; Sezer, Nebahat MD; Koseoglu, Fusun MD; Kibar, Sibel MD

doi: 10.1097/AJP.0b013e3181a68a6c
Original Articles

Objective To evaluate the clinical effectiveness of low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy for women with fibromyalgia (FM).

Methods Fifty-six women with FM, aged 18 to 60 years, were randomly assigned to either PEMF or sham therapy. Both the PEMF group (n=28) and the sham group (n=28) participated in therapy, 30 minutes per session, twice a day for 3 weeks. Treatment outcomes were assessed by the fibromyalgia Impact questionnaire (FIQ), visual analog scale (VAS), patient global assessment of response to therapy, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and Short-Form 36 health survey (SF-36), after treatment (at 4 wk) and follow-up (at 12 wk).

Results The PEMF group showed significant improvements in FIQ, VAS pain, BDI score, and SF-36 scale in all domains at the end of therapy. These improvements in FIQ, VAS pain, and SF-36 pain score during follow-up. The sham group also showed improvement were maintained on all outcome measures except total FIQ scores after treatment. At 12 weeks follow-up, only improvements in the BDI and SF-36 scores were present in the sham group.

Conclusion Low-frequency PEMF therapy might improve function, pain, fatigue, and global status in FM patients.

Fourth Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinic, Ankara Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Education and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey

Reprints: Serap Tomruk Sutbeyaz, MD, Karakusunlar M 339, Sok No:12/9, Ankara 06530, Turkey (e-mail:

Received for publication January 26, 2007; revised March 4, 2009; accepted March 9, 2009

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.