Melbourne: A new hand held 'e-cell' device as small as a computer mouse could help ease muscle pain within 30 minutes of use, researchers have claimed.
Researchers from Edith Cowan University (ECU) School of Exercise and Health Sciences have been investigating the effectiveness of electromagnetic therapy in treating musculoskeletal conditions.
Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMFT) has already been proven to speed up the healing of bone fracture and osteoarthritis, but no scientific evidence exists on whether it can help in the recovery of muscles, said researcher Harry Banyard.
"In testing the PEMFT, using a machine called an e-cell, I wanted to determine whether the device could really have an impact on debilitating conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and muscle tears and sprains experienced by elite athletes," Banyard said in a statement.
"Current treatments for these conditions include costly trips to physiotherapists and remedial massage therapists. This device could provide an alternative," Banyard said.
The e-cell device was tested by Banyard over a period of six months on both male and female volunteers. Muscle damage was induced in their biceps by forcibly lowering their extended arm using a machine while they tried to maximally resist it.
"The results suggested that the e-cell treatment significantly enhanced the recovery of muscle function including a rapid return of strength and range of motion, greatly reducing swelling and tenderness," Banyard added.
"The range of conditions that the e-cell could assist in treating is endless. It has the potential to be used in post-operative care for joint replacements, as well as in elite athlete recovery and for the weekend warrior gym goer who goes a bit too hard," he said.