Table 6

Characteristics of included trials of pulsed electromagnetic fields for pain relief in patients with knee osteoarthritis

First author, publication year

Intervention type, treatment sessions and period

No of patients on active therapy (n = 255)

Method quality

Mean baseline pain (mm VAS)

Best mean difference (95% CI) of change over placebo (mm VAS)

Outcome assessment timepoints (weeks, best time point in bold)


Callaghan-05

SWT, 3 sessions/week, 6 sessions total, output 20 W in 20 minutes, 400 Hz, treatment dose 24 kJ

9

5

65.0

15.0 (-12.7 to 42.7)

2

Jacobson – 01

PEMF, 8 sessions, 1–8 Hz, 3 × 10-7G

101

3

63.3

7.9 (0.8 to 15.4)

2, 4

Nicolakis-02

PEMF 30 min daily, 6 weeks, 40 mT 1–3000 Hz

15

4

34.6

10.8 (-3.5 to 25.1)

6

Pipitone-01

PEMF 30 min daily, 6 weeks, 3–20 Hz, <0.5 Gauss

34

5

-

2.0 (-5.8 to 9.7)

6

Thamsborg-05

PEMF, 2 h daily for 6 weeks, 10 mV, 50 Hz

42

5

52.6

0.3 (-7.7 to 7.9)

2, 6, 12

Trock-93

PEMF, 15 Gauss, <30 Hz, 30 min 3–5 times/week, total 18 sessions

14

4

76.5

31.0 (11.0 to 51.0)

2,4, 8

Trock-94

PEMF, 15 Gauss, <30 Hz, 30 min 3–5 times/week, total 18 sessions

40

5

70.7

14.6 (0.9 to 28.3)

2, 4, 8

Best within 4 weeks

209

6.9† (2.2 to 11.6)

6 weeks

91

1.0 (-4.1 to 6.0)

8 weeks

47

19.8 (7.1 to 32.5)

12 weeks

42

-2.4 (-10.1 to 5.3)

Pooled 6–12 weeks

180

4.8 (-2.2 to 11.8)

Total

255

4.4*

63.7†

3.2*


*Mean † Weighted mean

Bjordal et al. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2007 8:51   doi:10.1186/1471-2474-8-51

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