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Do magnets really work for pain relief?

by , 19 November 2018
Do magnets really work for pain relief?
Dr Carlos Valbona, a rehabilitation specialist at the Baylor College of Medicine (Texas), scoffed at the idea of magnets being applied to the skin to relieve pain.

But more and more patients were coming in and telling him the magnets worked on their particular pain. His curiosity was finally aroused and he began dabbling with the treatment, even though he was aware that the words “magnet” and “quack” had become synonymous among those who deride alternative medicine in the press.

Keep reading to find out what he discovered...

Are magnets just a quack therapy?

His first patient was a priest who had post-polio back pain so severe
he couldn’t lift his hand to bless his parishioners.

“Within minutes,” says Valbona, “he came out of the examining room and said, ‘It’s amazing. I can raise my arm.’” Encouraged by these results, Valbona undertook a study of 50 subjects, half of whom would receive a placebo dummy magnet for their pain, and the other half the magnet therapy. The results of this small study were quite remarkable:

76% of the magnet-treated patients reported pain relief during the 45-minute treatment period, compared to only 19% of the placebo patients.

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The findings in this double blind study are really impressive. Other universities followed Valbona’s lead. Among them are doctors at the University of California, Los Angeles, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, New York Medical College, and others.

With prestigious institutions like these in the US, supporting their use, I don’t think magnets will be equated with quackery much longer.

Keep reading...
  
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Not all magnet strengths will work...

Although magnets relieve pain, and they certainly seem to, no one
knows how they work exactly.

Some experts believe magnetic energy alters the chemical interactions in nerve fibres that are responsible for pain impulses. Others say the effect is due to increased blood flow to the area. 

One magnet is as good as the next, as long as you have the proper
strength. The magnet should be 500 to 1,000 gauss.

Electromagnetic therapy is practised by some physiotheripists and chiropractors in South Africa.

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