The Environmentalist

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 447–451 | Cite as

Could the relief of myofascial and/or low back pain by magnetic fields be explained by their action on trigger points

  • Carlton F. HazlewoodEmail author
  • Marko S. Markov


It is well recognized that a trigger point is a functional, rather than an anatomical, entity. It is known that a significant fraction of both acute and chronic pain experience is myofascial in nature. This paper is aimed to discuss the potential of using permanent magnets placed over the trigger points, which are associated with that referred pain, to be a tool for pain relief. This approach is even more important in patients with various disabilities and experiencing chronic sacro-iliac and/or low back pain. It appears that the trigger points represent a plausible physiological/tissue “window” and/or pathways, which allow the magnetic fields to penetrate through physiological barriers, and thus returning injured tissues to the homeostatic state. These “tissue windows” represent physiological “entrance points” for eventual exogenous stimulations, mainly physical by nature, to enter the body. There is evidence that the application of magnetic fields (via permanent magnets) on trigger points is more effective for pain relief as compared to application to other body surface area. The systemic effects at which the results are manifested at sites distant from application area is also considered when discussing effects of magnetic fields applied on trigger points. Ion transport is considered as central to the integrity and proper functioning of nerve excitability and muscle contraction. Any disruption of their normal function would directly and markedly affect human neurosensory and neuromotor performance. Biophysical phenomena associated with modification of ion transport are in the range of weak stimuli. Therefore, electrophysiological changes in the functions of the so-called ion channels, are among the more (perhaps the most) sensitive indicators to detect and quantify physiological effects of electromagnetic fields.


Magnetic field therapy Trigger points Pain 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Consultants InternationalHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Research InternationalBuffaloUSA

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