With more and more people becoming aware of the harmful side effects of painkillers, magnet therapy is gaining popularity due to its various health benefits. In recent years, the use of magnetic bracelets, mattresses, belts and shoes to treat severe pains and other conditions has increased tremendously. But are they really helpful?

Can Magnet Therapy Relieve Pain?
Most studies and alternative practitioners and point out that magnets can, in fact, be useful in reducing pain for a number of conditions.

A study published in the Archives of Physical and Rehabilitative Medicine found magnets to be effective in relieving knee pain caused by post-polio syndrome.[1]

Another study on diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage due to diabetes) by the New York Medical College, found that patients who were assigned to wear magnetized insoles experienced significant reductions in numbness and tingling, burning and exercise-induced foot pain. [2]

How Does Magnet Therapy Work?
By placing magnets over affected areas, the magnetic field alleviates pain by interfering with electrochemical reactions within nerve cells, causing changes in the nerve cell function. Magnets impair the ability of the nerve cells to transmit pain messages to the brain.

Magnets may also increase blood flow and oxygen to the tissues and possibly balance the death and growth of new cells, relieving pain in the process. Even though chronic pain can be treated by OTC medications, unlike painkillers, magnets do not have any side effects. Magnets can provide relief from osteoarthritis, back pain, knee pain, fibromyalgia and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Is Magnet Therapy Safe?
Magnets are normally safe and have no repercussions. However, people who use pacemakers, defibrillators or insulin pumps should not use magnets, as they may interfere with those devices. Consult your doctor or alternative medicine practitioner before using them.

How To Use Magnets
The strength of a magnet is measured in gauss. Your refrigerator magnet has a strength of 10 gauss, which is weak and insufficient to penetrate the skin. Medical magnets have strengths ranging from 450 gauss to 10,000 gauss. Here’s how you can use them for different conditions.

  • For Headaches: Use a magnetic headband or tape magnets to the back of your head or the temples. Buy a magnetic headband here.
  • For Back Pain: Use a four-inch ceramic strip magnet or a magnetic back brace. Buy it here.
  • For Arthritis: Wear a wristband or tape a neo magnet at the site of the pain. Click here to buy it.
  • For Foot Pain: Magnetic insoles are useful in relieving foot pain. To purchase magnetic insoles, click here.
  • For A Tennis Elbow: Use a magnetic band at the site of the repetitive strain injury such as the hand and arms. Click here to buy it.

Advisory: The content made available at Z Living has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or by any other governmental agency. It is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

For more interesting stories, visit our Health page. Read more stories on Complementary and Alternative Medicine here.

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References:

1. Vallbona C, Hazlewood CF, Jurida G. Response of pain to static magnetic fields in post-polio patients: a double-blind pilot study. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1997 Nov;78(11):1200-3. PubMed PMID: 9365349.

2. Weintraub MI, Wolfe GI, Barohn RA, Cole SP, Parry GJ, Hayat G, Cohen JA, Page JC, Bromberg MB, Schwartz SL; Magnetic Research Group. Static magnetic field therapy for symptomatic diabetic neuropathy: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2003 May;84(5):736-46. PubMed PMID: 12736891.

Armed with a PhD in Alternative Medicine, a graduate degree in Biotechnology, an MSc, and an MBA in Clinical Research and Clinical Pharmacology, Dr Jonathan is a certified practitioner of Alternative Medicine and is actively involved in patient education initiatives. He is also the author of the bestselling book, Outsmart Diabetes. Dr Jonathan loves to share his passion for herbs and other alternative medicinal practices with others through his writing.