Using PEMF therapy to fix a bone fracture can help it heal faster, and get stronger and healthier even after it has been injured.
Having a fracture heal fast is important as this allows your bones to get back its strength and be able to tackle the stress of your everyday activities.
A fracture can also be very painful, so it can be a good and important thing that it heals as quickly as possible.
You can heal your bone fracture and get your life back to normal by using some natural remedies alongside the usual treatments that you would get at the doctor’s office.
There has been scientific research that shows that PEMF therapy can be used to treat bone fractures.
PEMF is known to heal fractures that tend not to fix up well.
It also can make the recovery process faster and less painful.
Let us look at the relationship between PEMF therapy and bone fractures and learn its benefits and how it can help you heal through a fracture.
What Is a Bone Fracture?
The term fracturing a bone usually means that it has broken.
However, an actual fracture may not always result in a bone-breaking entirely.
A fracture is known as a crack of any extent that occurs on any bone in your body.
Most of the time, people encounter fractures with cracks on one or more bones.
Normally, our bones are very strong and can handle some large forces.
Unfortunately, there are just times and conditions where even these strong bones cave in and crack – leading to a fracture.
There are many kinds of fractures that vary according to how much damage they leave on the bone, and how heavy a force it took to cause the fracture.
Closed fractures are those that only hurt the bone, without hurting the tissues that surround them or breaking the skin.
These are easier to treat when compared to compound fractures.
Compound fractures do sometimes lead to infection.
In the event that your bones are weak due to a lack of minerals, or some medical disorders, you are more prone to fractures when you get hurt.
In the event a child encounters a fracture on or near a growth plate, that is located at the end of each bone, this could sometimes lead to some permanent damages.
There are a few other common kinds of fractures such as:
- Comminuted fractures occur when the bone is completely broken into many pieces.
- Compression fractures that usually happen in the spine. This occurs when the sponge-like vertebral tissue is damaged.
- Greenstick fractures commonly happen in children whose bones tend to be more flexible.
- Hairline fractures occur when there only is a partial crack on the bone. These fractures are usually harder to find.
- Stress fractures that can occur when a bone cracks because it undergoes stress and strain repeatedly. This is commonly seen in athletes.
Many kinds of fractures can occur because of very specific situations and injuries.
A doctor would be able to detect and figure out which specific fracture a patient is suffering from.
They can do so after careful examination, looking at X-rays, and other imaging.
Symptoms of a Bone Fracture
The symptoms you feel when suffering from a bone fracture can change according to the type of fracture.
It could go from something rather obvious to others that are more confusing.
Most of the time fractures could cause some substantial pain.
This is because the bones are lined up against nerve endings that would send out the pain signal when it becomes inflamed.
Also, the muscles around the fractured bone can also go into spasm as it tries to protect the fracture area.
This could also add to more pain.
Bones tend to bleed when they are injured, leading to some swelling and bruising around the injured regions.
In case the fractures don’t cause any muscle or tendon damages, you might be able to move the bone.
Therefore, trying to move the bone to detect a fracture might not always be too effective.
Smaller fractures might lead to less pain and smaller levels of swelling.
They could be mistaken for a much small injury such as a sprain.
Fractures that occur in the fingers and toes would cause you some pain that would pass away very quickly.
When you fracture nerves that have been damaged, that region could start feeling numb.
If you have hurt a major blood supply while suffering the fracture, then the region could look pale and feel cold.
Causes and Risk Factors of Bone Fractures
A bone typically breaks when a substantial force is forced upon it.
This force could be the result of a fall, repeated movements, or a blow.
When a bone is too weak to handle the force exerted on it, it could lead to a fracture.
Most fractures occur from one of these situations:
- Traumatic situations such as sports injuries, falls, car accidents. Most fractures are caused by these situations.
- Repeatedly overusing the body part, such as that by athletes when they keep exerted force on the bone.
- Medical situations like bone tumors, osteoporosis, infection, osteogenesis imperfecta could lead to a fracture. Excessive use of certain steroids could also lead to fractures. These make the bone weaker and more brittle, making it more susceptible to suffering from fractures.
When you have healthy bones, they usually can handle a substantial amount of force.
In this case, even harder falls might not result in fractures.
Those who are physically more active, like children, are more likely to incur a fracture.
Treatment of a Bone Fracture
When you suffer from a bone fracture, the first thing that would be done is to keep the bone stable and immobile.
This is to prevent it from moving around and leading to any more damage.
Normally a splint is applied right away to get this done.
Some fractures could need surgery to get the bone to stay stable, to repair damaged tissues, or to take care of other problems.
The next thing to do is to be sure that the bone is aligned correctly, before being made immobile for a long period of time.
This is to make sure that it heals properly and completely, without the need for any surgery.
A hard cast is usually applied once the swelling goes down.
This is known as the repair stage, where the bone is getting stronger and tissues are being rebuilt.
In this critical time, you do not want to hurt the fracture point again.
While recovering from the fracture, the doctor would usually ask you to rest a lot, use ice, and have it elevated.
These would ensure that there are less inflammation and swelling, which in turn would also bring down the pain you experience.
Once the cast or hard splint is kept on the injury, the doctor can predict how long it would likely take for the bone to heal.
The time span it takes for the fracture to heal depends on where and what kind of injury occurs, the body’s general health condition, and many other factors.
Fractures that occur to the hands and feet would be handled differently, as it also is essential to ensure that these bones get fixed and can make their fine motor functions.
In the event you happen to encounter a fracture in these sensitive spots, the doctor would address that and lay out your options for you.
PEMF Therapy and Bone Fractures
There is a 5-10% chance that a bone fracture could lead to delayed union or nonunion.
This means that the bone is having a tough time healing thoroughly, or on its own.
These types of abnormalities usually would need surgery.
Unfortunately, that could lead to other complications and make the recovery period longer.
Research has shown that some noninvasive procedures could address delayed union and nonunion and help patients that suffer from this scenario.
Therapies such as Pulse Electromagnetic Fields (PEMF) have shown to help deal with fracture abnormalities.
Therapists and physicians have used PEMF at a small scale to address delayed union and nonunion of bones.
A study found in the Journal of Orthopedic Surgery and Research hopes to understand the effectiveness of PEMF therapy when it comes to tackling abnormal fractures.
It also hopes to determine what the factors are that would make it more positive on the patient.
The study mentioned consisted of 44 patients who underwent PEMF treatments after experiencing a tibial fracture that had results in either a delayed union or nonunion.
All of their fracture gaps were no bigger than 1cm and none of them suffered from soft tissue defects.
Studies showed that 34 patients saw a fracture union after the treatment.
The patients’ outcomes did not differ because of the location of the fracture, the kind of fracture, age, lifestyle choices, or medical conditions.
It did not even depend on what kind of initial treatment they received once they had the fracture.
Those who underwent PEMF for a longer period of time saw a higher chance of success.
PEMF stimulation has been known to be a non-invasive form of treatment that can be effective at healing many kinds of fractures.
PEMF therapy certainly is an effective way to heal a bone that has been affected by a fracture.
It would be a great way to speed up the recovery procedure, so your bone gets strong enough to tackle life’s daily stresses once again.