MadSci Network: Medicine

Re: Magnets in relation to magnet therapy

Date: Thu Aug 16 16:42:02 2001
Posted By: John Moulder, Faculty, Radiation Biology, Medical College of Wisconsin
Area of science: Medicine
ID: 988724149.Me

Magnet therapy Deborah: You ask whether there is research that supports the use of magnet therapy for multiple medical cures.

There are two major kinds of "magnet therapy"

There are some clinical trials (see Ryaby, 1998 and Trock, 2000) and experimental studies (see Otter et al, 1998) supporting the use of pulsed magnetic fields for healing bone fractures. However, the mechanistic basis for the effect is unknown (Trock, 2000). Other medical uses of pulsed magnetic fields have little or no clinical or experimental data to support them.

The use of static magnets for pain relief is very popular, but there is essentially no clinical or experimental data to support this use (see Valbona et al, 1999 and Trock, 2000). Many of the devices on the market are little more than expensive refrigerator magnets.

Most of the material on the Internet on magnet therapy seems to have been written by the sort of people who used to sell "snake oil" at county fairs. Among the credible sources I found are:

Sources in the peer-reviewed scientific literature:

John Moulder
Radiation Biologist
Medical College of Wisconsin

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