BIXEPS for Post-Surgical Recovery

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What are the benefits of pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMF) for post-surgical recovery?

When we hear words like ‘cellular level’, ‘mitochondria’, or ‘electromagnetic field’ we might feel confused or even skeptical. Don’t let those fancy sounding words confuse you – pulsed electromagnetic therapy has been around for decades, with years of research behind it on its healing action for medical conditions (e.g. increasing healing rates for diabetic sores or ulcers). However, in this article, we will be talking specifically about electromagnetic field therapy for post-surgical recovery! 

Credit: The Straits Times, Singapore 2023

 

How does PEMF work?

In Spinefit, we utilise a specific type of therapy called BIXEPS for magnetic mitohormesis (MM). A more in-depth article has been written about what this machine is and how it works – BIXEPS – The Science Behind How It Works – but in short, a machine set at a particular low-intensity magnetic resonance helps to stimulate ‘healthy stress’ in our body’s cells which in turn triggers mitochondrial activity. The mitochondria in our body help with energy production in muscles and increases resistance to oxidative damage

Oxidative stress/oxidative damage is associated with diseases, rapid aging, inflammation, and poor recovery; it is triggered by the presence of free radicals in our body which are formed from poor lifestyle habits (lack of sleep, excessive smoking or processed foods), or damage to the body like over-exercising, injury, and surgeries. 

PEMF therapy has demonstrated potential in reducing oxidative stress, protecting against cellular damage, and promoting antioxidant enzyme activity (1, 2) – In layman terms, PEMF enables our muscles to engage more even without movement and prevents cellular damage from overload of oxidative stress!

 

The Role of PEMF in Post-Surgical Recovery

While we are recovering from surgery, we are usually stuck with the first few weeks of limited movement, swelling, and pain over the surgical site. This is a normal part of healing and is our body’s natural response which we do not need to be afraid of! 

Many research guidelines have recommended early movement after an operation as key in promoting healing and reducing hospital stays (3). However, we might wonder what else can be done to further speed up the healing process and increase muscle engagement, especially in surgeries like post-ACL reconstruction, ankle ligament surgery, or hip and knee replacements? That’s where PEMF comes into play. 

Rehabilitation in the first few weeks of recovery usually involves some form of getting the affected joints and muscles moving again. This includes range-of-motion exercises within your allowed range, isometric exercises, and pain management techniques. You are usually limited by how much range you are allowed to engage in from your surgeon and physiotherapist; however, the more you manage to activate your muscles, the faster your recovery will be! Hence, PEMF can help with further activating your muscles to facilitate recovery through those weeks of healing.

Here are some studies done showing the results of magnetic mitohormesis (MM):

1 16-weeks of MM treatment post knee-repair surgery enhanced patients’ muscle energetics, reduced deconditioning leading to enhanced post-surgical recovery. Clinical Study: Journal of Orthopaedic Translation, 2022
2 12-weeks of regular MM treatment effected exercise-related adaptations amongst users, improving users’ mobility, body composition and reducing pains. Clinical Study: Aging US, 2023
3 Regular weekly MM sessions in mice enhanced functional  and metabolic health gains from exercise in the short-term; and provided improved muscle and systemic metabolism improvements independently over the long-term. Preclinical Study: The FASEB Journal, 2020

 

PEMF – Try it Today

Have you been struggling with a plateau in your recovery? Or frustrated with how slow your rehabilitation seems to be going (post-surgical rehab, we’re looking at you!)? Perhaps BIXEPS could be a gamechanger in your rehabilitation routine. 

Because PEMF therapy offers a non-invasive and drug-free approach to aid in post-surgical recovery by reducing pain, promoting tissue healing, and stimulating mitochondrial action for muscle activation, it can be a really valuable option for enhancing your rehabilitation outcomes.

Contact us today to try out BIXEPS and see how it can help you achieve your movement goals! (P.S. It’s the first and only unit in Malaysia as of time of writing)

 

References

  1. Kubat NJ, Moffett J, Fray LM. Effect of pulsed electromagnetic field treatment on programmed resolution of inflammation pathway markers in human cells in culture. J Inflamm Res. 2015 Feb 23;8:59-69. doi: 10.2147/JIR.S78631
  2. Liu Y, Zhai M (2020) Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields Alleviates Hepatic Oxidative Stress and Lipids Accumulation in db/db mice. doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.04.06.028621
  3. Willner A, Teske C, Hackert T, Welsch T. Effects of early postoperative mobilization following gastrointestinal surgery: systematic review and meta-analysis. BJS Open. 2023 Sep 5;7(5):zrad102. doi: 10.1093/bjsopen/zrad102. PMID: 37846641; PMCID: PMC10580147.
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