This study was sponsored by Assisi Animal Health.
There is growing interest in the therapeutic potential of electromagnetic fields. Pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) can have an effect at a cellular level, triggering pathways that result in reductions in inflammation and increases in growth factors. Human clinical trials show PEMF reduce pain following surgery and new experimental studies suggest that they may be neuroprotective.
This clinical trial in 16 dogs was designed to determine whether targeted pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) could reduce post-operative pain and improve outcome in dogs with severe spinal cord injuries caused by acute disc extrusions. All dogs were treated by surgical decompression of the disc material (standard of care) and then randomized to a treatment group and a placebo group. PEMF were delivered with a device (Assisi Loop) developed by Assisi Animal Health and all dogs wore a coat with a loop, the investigators and owners did not know which loops were active. The results showed a significant reduction in post-operative pain over a 6-week period in the group that were treated with PEMF. We conclude that PEMF reduces pain associated with spinal surgery. The results have been published in the Journal of Neurotrauma:
The effect of electromagnetic fields on postoperative pain and locomotor recovery in dogs with acute, severe thoracolumbar intervertebral disc extrusion: a randomized placebo-controlled, prospective clinical trial. Dr. Natalia Zidan, Dr. Joe Fenn, Dr. Emily Griffith, Dr. Peter J Early, Dr. Chris L Mariani, Dr. Karen R Munana, Dr. Julien Guevar, and Dr. Natasha Olby. Journal of Neurotrauma. January 2018, ahead of print. https://doi.org/10.1089/neu.2017.5485