Questions Over Healing Effect of Magnets

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Magnetic Therapy

Patients should be advised that magnet therapy has no proved benefits, and that any healing effect is likely to be small, say US researchers in this week's BMJ.

Magnetic devices that are claimed to be therapeutic include magnetic bracelets, insoles, wrist and knee bands, back and neck braces, and even pillows and mattresses. Annual sales are estimated at more than a billion dollars globally.

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But Professors Leonard Finegold and Bruce Flamm argue that many studies of magnet therapy are suspect because it is difficult to blind subjects to the presence of a magnet. They suggest that money spent on expensive and unproved magnet therapy might be better spent on evidence based medicine.

More importantly, self treatment with magnets may result in an underlying medical condition being left untreated, they warn.

Magnets are touted by successful athletes, allowed to be widely advertised, and sold without restrictions, so it is not surprising that lay people think that claims of therapeutic efficacy are reasonable, they write. However

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