The idea of using magnetic therapy for therapeutic purposes started thousands of years ago in Greece. It can increase blood flow and increase the oxygen level in the body, which will alleviate the pain in the treated area. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that athletes such as Bill Romanowski and Steve Atwater have resorted to magnetic therapy to get some ,. The American public has also decided to use this alternative, non-invasive healing technique. One out of 1,000 American homes use magnetic therapeutic products. Companies that sell magnetic therapeutic products say that American consumers will spend more than $500 million on these items this year. Some athletes are even endorsing brand-name magnetic therapeutic products. The use of these products is even more popular in other parts of the world. One out of 7 Japanese homes and 1 out of 10 German homes use these products. There are many magnetic products available that can treat many conditions. A magnetic mattress pad can provide relief from insomnia, joint pain, muscle spasm and fibromyalgia. Magnetic insoles can alleviate painful inflammation resulting from bone spurs. Magnetic wraps can be used to relieve lower back pain, arthritic joints and inflamed tendons. Magnetic bracelets can be used to help with carpal tunnel syndrome. There have been studies that indicate that there are positive benefits to using magnetic therapy.
At the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, a double blind study was conducted to determine the effects of authentic magnetic devices and placebo devices on the knee pain of 50 adult patients. The knee pain was attributed to the poliovirus they contracted when they were kids. This study concluded that the 29 patients who used the authentic magnetic devices had a greater reduction in pain than the 21 patients who used the placebo devices.
In the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine there was a study conducted by researchers at the University of Virginia that looked into the effectiveness of magnetic therapy on patients suffering from fibromyalgia pain. People with fibromyalgia suffer from musculoskeletal pain, fatigue and multiple tender points. Two percent of the population suffers from fibromyalgia. The 6-month study was conducted on 94 patients suffering from fibromyalgia to test the effectiveness of magnetic sleep pads. They were randomly placed into 4 groups. The first group used sleep pads with fake magnets. Another group was asked to stick to their normal treatment routine that didn't involve magnetic therapy. A third group used magnetic sleep pads that exposed their entire body to a low, uniform magnetic field. The last group used magnetic sleep pads that used magnets that varied in intensity. At the end of the 6 month study, it was determined that the two groups that used magnetic therapy did show improvement in outcome scores of pain intensity level, number of tender points on the body and functional status. The other two groups did not show the same type of improvement.
Researchers from the Peninsula Medical School conducted a magnetic therapy study on 194 patients with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee. For 12 weeks, these test subjects were required to wear either a standard magnetic bracelet, a weak magnetic bracelet, or a non-magnetic bracelet. The standard magnetic group had a reduction in pain that was not matched by the other two groups. The results for the non-magnetic and weak magnet groups were similar. These results indicate that the magnetic strength of the bracelet is also important.
But as of today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved of magnetic therapy.