Clinical FAQs

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Transcript: There’s a question about restless leg syndrome, muscle spasms, which is very common in MS especially at nighttime. Restless leg syndrome plus MS, that’s not a great combination is it? So muscle spasms, charlie horses, etc and taking magnesium but no other prescribed drugs.  This question is from Tracy. 

 I think magnetic field therapy is an essential therapy for MS for lots of reasons. One of the most important reasons is healing and inflammation. The lesions in MS, in the brain and the spinal cord, are inflamed. There’s a lot of inflammation around them and the inflammation causes damage to the ability of the nervous system to work properly. As a result of that imbalance between spasticity, or muscle contraction, and muscle relaxation, it leans on the side of spasticity. You can’t relax the muscles well enough because of the damage in the brain. 

It’s important to treat the brain and the spinal cord with PEMF therapy to decrease inflammation and improve healing.  If you’re too far gone in the MS process, magnetic therapy is not going to reverse the damage. 

There’s an outside possibility in the future, especially if we combine PEMF therapy with STEM cell therapies, what we call intrathecal into the central nervous system space, spinal fluid space that we could.  In the future, as people start doing more of these invasive STEM cell treatments and you combine that with magnetic field therapy, we could potentially start to see some pretty dramatic results.  But at this point it’s just horribly experimental. 

Nevertheless, I have a number of people with MS, who when they started doing magnetic field therapy on a regular basis combined with functional medicine, the MS process settles down. The more damage that has already been done, we may not be able to stop the effects of that damage, but we stopped the progression. Unlike medication, which may stop the progression but causes all kinds of risks of side effects, and it doesn’t heal. So PEMF therapy gives you the opportunity to heal and at the same time to improve function, it can make the nervous system work better to the extent that it has the capability to work better. 

I have one or two people I’ve worked with now for over 20 years that have stabilized, and they have never progressed to canes or crutches or wheelchairs. They used some of that at the beginning, but now they’re relatively free to move about and live the full activities of daily living.  That doesn’t mean that they’re without any problems,  and they can never stop because we can’t necessarily stop the problem completely unless we can heal the problem completely. 

Unfortunately, I don’t see people who have just been diagnosed with MS and are really early in the process. So if you know anybody with MS that’s just been diagnosed, the sooner you start treatment with PEMFs and functional medicine, the better because then you can truly heal.  

Everything that I do in functional medicine is supportive to what the body does. But PEMFs actually help to heal. So they’re using the nutrients and everything that you’re doing in functional medicine and making the body use them better and helping to support the function of the body and then helping with the regeneration of the tissue.  

So, you can decrease spasticity. Unfortunately, what many people with MS do is they treat where spasticity is. I had a consultation about this just the other day with somebody. You don’t treat where the spasticity is, that’s where you’re feeling the pain.  The problem you have to treat is the brain cause that’s the source of the spasticity, that’s where the imbalance is in the nervous system. 

The treatment needs to be done with higher intensity magnetic fields. Using low intensity, like a micropulse, forget about it. The Flexpulse can be helpful in other ways, but you’re not going to get much benefit with lower intensity because you need high-intensity magnetic fields to go deep enough into the brain to do healing work to decrease the inflammation.

Restless legs – so most people now believe that most of the problem with restless legs is in the brain and so most of the medical treatments for it are medication that are used to treat the symptoms of restless legs in the brain.  But the medication does not stop the problem or the cause. One of the causes, potentially, is iron. I can’t remember exactly whether it’s an iron deficiency or too much iron, but iron can often be involved. There are pigments and cells in the brain that have iron pigments in them, and I think it’s too much, not too little, but I better stop there before my guesswork gets me in trouble.  In any event, magnetic field therapy to the brain may help to decrease the irritability of that part of the brain that causes the restless leg problem. 

One other source of restless legs that has been found in a number of people, not everybody, in venous insufficiency.  If you have pooling of blood in your legs, especially if you’ve been standing all day or sitting all day and your legs are swollen,  and you go to bed at night, that blood has to leave those legs. And when you have that kind of blood pooling in your legs, then that can cause that sensation of needing to move your legs. So wearing support stockings throughout the day can be very helpful. Doing exercises before you go to bed to get the blood moving out of your legs or laying down on a recliner, with your feet up for maybe half an hour. So if you have a recliner, watch TV with your legs up about six inches above your hips to get the blood drain back down. 

Most people with venous insufficiency do find, in fact, that when they wake up in the morning that swelling they had in their legs when they went to bed is all gone. But how long does it take for it to go away? Restless legs often happen the earliest in the evening. So, that’s a functional medicine approach to restless legs other than the central nervous system aspect of it.