Magnets Don’t Fight Pain, Study Shows
No Research to Support Hype That Magnets Cut Arthritis, Fibromyalgia Pain
WebMD News Archive
Sept. 24, 2007 -- Magnets don't fight the pain of arthritis or
fibromyalgia, according to a new review of research.
Researchers say magnets for pain are a multibillion dollar industry and have
been incorporated into arm and leg wraps, mattress pads, necklaces, shoe
inserts, and bracelets. They are marketed for reducing pain from a variety of
causes, and one survey showed up to 28% of people with rheumatoid arthritis,
osteoarthritis, or fibromyalgia use magnets or wear copper bracelets.
But the research has yet to back up the hype behind the use of magnets for
Magnets No Good for Pain Relief
Researchers analyzed nine previous studies on magnets for pain in which the
participants were randomly assigned to receive magnet or a dummy device for
pain. Each of the studies rated the effects on pain reduction on standard
The results, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal,
showed no significant difference in pain reduction between the groups treated
with magnets or the placebo.
Therefore, researcher Max H. Pittler, MD, PhD, of the Peninsula Medical
School in Exeter, England, and colleagues say magnets cannot be recommended as
an effective treatment for pain.
The only condition for which the evidence did not rule out any hope of a
potential effect of magnets on pain was osteoarthritis. Researchers say more
research is needed in this area.