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Effects of PEMF Therapy on Aerobic Performance

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International Journal of
Environmental Research and Public Health
Effects of Acute Low-Frequency Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy on Aerobic Performance during a Preseason Training Camp: A Pilot Study
Nauris Tamulevicius 1,* , Tanuj Wadhi 1 , Guillermo R. Oviedo 2 , Ashmeet S. Anand 1, Jung-Jung Tien 3, Fraser Houston 1 and Eric Vlahov 1

Citation: Tamulevicius,N.;Wadhi, T.; Oviedo, G.R.; Anand, A.S.; Tien, J.-J.; Houston, F.; Vlahov, E. Effects of Acute Low-Frequency Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy on Aerobic Performance during a Preseason Training Camp: A Pilot Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 7691. ijerph18147691
Academic Editor: Antonio Sousa
Received: 22 June 2021 Accepted: 16 July 2021 Published: 20 July 2021
2 3
* Correspondence:
Abstract: Bio-electromagnetic-energy-regulation (BEMER) therapy is a technology using a low- frequency pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) in a biorhythmic format. BEMER has been shown to optimize recovery and decrease fatigue by increasing blood flow in microvessels. Our aim was to determine its effects during preseason training in endurance athletes. A total of 14 male cross-country runners (19.07 ± 0.92 y.o.) were placed in either the intervention (PEMF; n = 8) or control (CON; n = 6) group using a covariate-based, constrained randomization. Participants completed six running sessions at altitudes ranging from 881.83 (±135.98 m) to 1027.0 (±223.44 m) above sea level. PEMF group used BEMER therapy before and after each training session, totaling 12 times. There were no significant changes in absolute or relative VO2Peak, ventilation or maximum respiration rate for either the PEMF or CON group (p > 0.05). There was a significant effect of time for absolute and relative ventilatory threshold (VT), and maximum heart rate, heart rate at VT and respiration rate at VT. This study was the first of its kind to study PEMF technology in combination with elevated preseason training. Results indicate some evidence for the use of PEMF therapy during short-term training camps to improve VT.
Keywords: aerobic performance; low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic field therapy; ventilatory threshold; runners
1. Introduction
Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) treatment has been used for therapeutic purposes for almost half a century [1]. The application of external electrical, mechanical, and/or electromagnetic energy to the area of injury induces changes to the cell environment and restores the integrity and function of tissues within the organisms. This form of therapy has also been approved for the treatment of delayed and nonunion fractures in humans by the United States Food and Drug Administration since 1979 [2]. PEMF was also found to be effective for (1) pain management and edema after soft-tissue injury, (2) osteoarthritis- related injuries, (3) repairing ligaments and tendons, (4) wound [3–6] and bone fracture healing [7–9], (5) reducing subjective soreness [10,11], and (6) promotion of regeneration of nerves [4,12–15].
However, these devices are primarily advertised and distributed over the internet and are often used without medical supervision. According to their manufacturers, the therapeutic indications cover a wide range of diagnoses such as insomnia, back pain, osteo- porosis, arthritis, cardiovascular disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases. In addition,
Department of Health Sciences and Human Performance, The University of Tampa,
Tampa, FL 33606, USA; (T.W.); (A.S.A.); (F.H.); (E.V.)
Faculty of Psychology Education and Sport Science Blanquerna, University Ramon Llull, 08022 Barcelona, Spain;
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Central Florida/HCA GME Consortium, Greater Orlando, FL 32827, USA;
Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affil- iations.
Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/).
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 7691.

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