Use of magnet therapy unattractive
THE use of magnets and copper bracelets for pain relief might be a rapidly growing industry, but there is little evidence of the efficacy of magnet therapy, researchers say.
Worldwide sales of products containing therapeutic magnets total around $US4 billion ($4.3 billion) annually, say UK researchers.
They found when 45 patients with osteoarthritis were randomised to wear four different devices over a 16-week period, none produced any meaningful benefit. The finding contrasts with claims the products reduce pain and stiffness and improve physical functioning.
The products used in the study included a commercially available magnetic wrist strap, a copper bracelet, a weak magnetic wrist strap and a demagnetised wrist strap.
The authors said patients with persistent and disabling pain might be especially vulnerable to misleading claims relating to such unproven treatments.
“Reported analgesic benefits associated with wearing these devices may... be attributed to the psychological effects of a placebo,” they concluded.