There have been many studies and clinical trials into Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis and other degenerative diseases and disorders of the musculoskeletal system and potential methods to try to alleviate the symptoms and even cure the underlying problems. Here I look into some of these studies with a particular focus on the potential use of MBST® for the treatment of patients suffering from Osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the main chronic joint disease with symptoms characterized by the destruction of articular cartilage in the joints, mainly knee, hip and hand. We all know that the OA diagnosis is rising significantly due to an ageing population as well as obesity. “Clinicians recognise that the diagnosis of OA is established late in the disease process, maybe too late to expect much help from disease-modifying drugs” (1). This suggests that we need to use other methods to treating OA. Diagnosing something like OA earlier will always be difficult as people put joint pain down to things like old age or it’s come from years of playing sport, sometimes it’s just because people don’t understand the potential severity in the years to come. We also still need better imaging and biochemical marker analyses. So when these problems do increase and they look for treatment, we need to look at other modalities to treat these patients.
Treatment of the pain and subsequent disability as main clinical symptoms of OA is often through the use of physiotherapy, pharmacological treatment (mentioned above) or surgical methods. Joint replacement is often seen as a last resort and the invasiveness leaves a number of contraindications and can occasionally lead to complications. Page et al suggested that physiotherapy “while not to be used as a stand-alone treatment, may be beneficial…although the research is not equivocal, there is sufficient evidence to indicate that physiotherapy interventions can reduce pain and improve function” (2). Again this suggests that we need to find other methods to not just treat the clinical symptoms of OA but to look deeper and see if we can cure the cause.
To make sure that any potential treatments are valid all studies need to be undertaken in double blind, placebo controlled, randomised conditions. In 2006 Kullich et al did a study into MBST® therapy – The effect of MBST®-NuclearResonanceTherapy with a complex 3-dimensional electromagnetic nuclear resonance field on patients with Low Back Pain (3) – to these conditions. During this study of 62 patients with chronic low back pain, were measured using Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and Roland & Morris Disability Index (RM) at baseline, one week and three months. Each patient in this trial received one hour MBST® treatments for five consecutive days. “pain measurements using the VAS showed a distinct reduction in pain after active MBST® and placebo. The RM total score also improved significantly in both groups, but the improvement in both groups was more distinct in MBST® patients compared to placebo. After three months, the positive effect of MBST® on the RM total score was still significant (p<0.00001) whereas this was not the case for the placebo-treatment.” The large, significant improvements recognised in the MBST® group during the RM-questions were mainly focused around incapacities from low back pain for “sleeping problems, fatigue, bending ability and time required to get dressed” all very important contributions for quality of life. While this study was not scored using any scans the improvements felt by the patients were marked and personally beneficial.
There have been many double-blind, randomized and placebo controlled studies taken place to see the therapeutic effects of NMRT (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Therapy) on OA on many different joints. Another study that we shall look at here is that of Kullich W and Ausserwinkler M (2008). They looked into the “functional improvement in OA of the hand after treatment with nuclear magnetic resonance. Rhematologia 20: 7-12” (4). In this study they used 70 patients (35 had the treatment, 35 were placebo), undergoing one hour of treatment per day for 9 days. To score the results they used VAS with the survey times at 0 days, 10 days and 180 days. Of the 35 patients in the treatment group, 34 returned after 6 months, one dropout due to change of location, and 25 returned to the placebo group due to the lack of success from the treatment. Kullch and Ausserwinkler deduced that “the treatment resulted in significant improvement in the physical function of the hand after 9 days NMRT which persisted after 6 months. Conversely, these functions deteriorated in the placebo group. Similar results for intensity and frequency of pain.” Again this study shows that MBST can dramatically help sufferers of OA.
I would like to bring your attention to another major joint affected by OA, the knees. Auerbach B, Melzer C (2003) did a study looking into this in “Prospektive Untersuchung zur Wirksamkeit der MultiBioSignal-Therapie bei der Behandlung der Gonarthrose. Z Orthop Ihre Grenzgeb 141.” (5) They took 60 patients that had been diagnosed with OA, 33 via arthroscopy and 27 from MRI, and applied MBST one hour per day for five days. To check the results they used Lequense index, WOMAC (A,B,C), Lysholm score and VAS to determine success on these sufferers of OA. 59 patients answered these questions before treatment, immediately after treatment, 8 weeks post and finally 6 months post treatment, Auerbach et al used the Wilcoxon test to statistically analyse the results. When using all the mentioned testing methods, 6 month post treatment scores were highly improved on baseline testings. In fact, each test period saw an increase in scores. They concluded that “MBST succeeded for a period of 6 months a significant pain reduction (VAS rest and stress pain, WOMAC part A) an improvement in knee function (WOMAC part C, Lysholm score, Lequense index) and reduction in stiffness (WOMAC part B).
Frobose et al undertook a study to see how MBST could affect cartilage regeneration, in this study they had 14 patients undertaking one hour of MBST on consecutive days for 9 days, with a break for the weekend. MRI’s were taken immediately before the first treatment and 10 weeks post last session to see the structural changes of the cartilage. After the 10 week scan “results clearly show that there is distinct growth in respect to the cartilage structures after the treatment” (6) this is arguably the most important result out of all the studies.
These four studies all concur that MBST NMRT, has improved patient’s quality of life in relation to OA in a variety of joints.
As well as seeing the benefits to patients on a personal level we must also know what is happening at a cellular level to know why this is happening. In 2005 a study was undertaken to see what effect NMR had on cell proliferation, cellular apostosis and the viability of human chondrocyte and osteoblasts. This study by Temiz-Artmann et al lasted 19 days, 9 days having one hour of treatment per day and then a cell count used after 10 further days. The study was undertaken of course in a controlled, double-blind, randomized manner and they used commercially viable human cell lines. After 10 days NMRT “did not induce apostosis or inhibit cell viability but revealed a tendency of an elevated cell proliferation rate” (7). Also, Steinecker-Frohnwiesser et al tells us that NMRT induced changes in the modulation of signal transduction pathways involved in cartilage degeneration, possibly causing the observed pain reduction in clinical trials (8)
Mechanical stress on crystalline structures generates electrical activity, this has been known for decades now. The electrical signals generated by this stress cause the transport of electrical molecules in and out of cartilage structures and have a positive influence on the metabolism of said structure and cause changes. These changes occur due to the collagen structures in cartilage tissue aligning according to the energy lines of the magnetic field (Liu et al, 1996) (9) as well as the stimulation of metabolism causing positive stimulation of nutritional balance and inhibition of cell degradation. We also know that the use of NMR causes augmentation of DNA synthesis in the cartilage of up tp 20% and augmentation of collagen production up to 300% according to Rothschild (10).
Finally, although we know that clinically MBST has been proven to regenerate cartilage we also need to know underlying mechanisms how MBST leads to pain reduction, cell growth and viability of interleukin IL-1ß stimulated chondrocytes. Steinecker-Frohnweiser et al did this research and found that “inhibition caused by IL-1ß was more pronounced in the absence of NMRT stimulation” (11).
There are many more studies that are available on MBST and magnetic resonance for therapeutic use. If you would like to read these or the references used here then please ask us and we will be happy to pass these on. Some papers are only in German but all the ones used here are in English or are quite easy to get an English translation.
- 2011 Jun 18;377(9783):2115-26. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(11)60243-2. Osteoarthritis: an update with relevance for clinical practice. Bijlsma JW1, Berenbaum F, Lafeber FP.
- Int J Rheum Dis. 2011 May;14(2):145-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1756-185X.2011.01612.x. Physiotherapy management of knee osteoarthritis. Page CJ1, Hinman RS, Bennell KL.
- Kullich1, H. Schwann2, J. Walcher2, K. Machreich2 2006 Dec. The effect of MBST®-NuclearResonanceTherapy with a complex 3-dimensional electromagnetic nuclear resonance field on patients with Low Back Pain
- Kullich W, Ausserwinkler M (2008) Functional improvement in osteoarthritis of the hand after treatment with uclear magnetic resonance. Orthopädische Praxis; 44: 287-290.
- Auerbach B, Melzer C (2003) Prospektive Untersuchung zur Wirksamkeit der MultiBioSignal-Therapie bei der Behandlung der Gonarthrose. Z Orthop Ihre Grenzgeb 141.
- Evaluation of the effectiveness of three-dimensional pulsating electromagnetic fields of the MultiBioSignal Therapy (MBST) in respect to the regeneration of cartilage structures Froböse, I1; Eckey, U.1; Reiser, M.2; Glaser, Ch..2; Engelmeier, F.3; Assheuer, J.4; Breitgraf, 5; & Muntermann, A.5
- NMR in vitro effects on proliferation, apoptosis, and viability of human chondrocytes and osteoblasts. Temiz-Artmann A1, Linder P, Kayser P, Digel I, Artmann GM, Lücker P.
- Steinecker-Frohnwieser B, Weigl L, Höller C, Sipos S, Kullich W, et al. (2009) Influenve of NMR therapy on metabolism of osteosarcoma- and chondrocarcoma cell lines. Bone 44: S295.
- Liu, H., Abbott, J., & Bee, J. A. (1996) Pulsed electromagnetic fields influence hyaline cartilage extracellular matrix composition without affecting molecular structure. Cartil., 4: 63-76.
- Rothschild, B. (1996) Cartilage as a target organ in arthritis: New approaches. Ther., 22(11): 727-730.
- The Influence of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Therapy (NMRT) and Interleukin IL1-β Stimulation on Cal 78 Chondrosarcoma Cells and C28/I2 Chondrocytes Steinecker-Frohnwieser, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Rehabilitation of Internal Diseases, Ludwig Boltzmann Cluster for Rheumatology, Balneology and Rehabilitation, Saalfelden, Austria; scientific lecture at the Scientific Symposium: Microbiome Research / Personalized Medicine, Graz, Austria, 17th – 18th July 2014.*