Article on magnet therapy

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by tansy, Jan 7, 2006.

  1. tansy

    tansy New Member

    A Warning About Magnet Therapy
    It doesn't work, physician and a physicist say; others disagree.

    By Ed Edelson
    HealthDay Reporter

    FRIDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The magnets advertised in magazines and on
    the Internet to treat health problems, particularly pain, offer no proven
    benefit, a physicist and a physician contend.

    "Magnets are touted by successful athletes, allowed to be widely advertised,
    and sold without restrictions, so it is not surprising that lay people think
    that claims of therapeutic efficacy are reasonable," claims an editorial in the
    Jan. 7 issue of the British Medical Journal. It was written by Leonard
    Finegold, a professor of physics at Drexel University in Philadelphia, and Dr.
    Bruce L. Flamm, a physician in obstetrics and gynecology at the Kaiser
    Permanente Medical Center in Riverside, Calif.

    Yet, "if there is any healing effect of magnets, it is apparently small since
    published research, both theoretical and experimental, is weighted heavily
    against any therapeutic benefit," they wrote.

    Finegold said he enlisted Flamm in writing the warning "because I wanted a
    physician's point of view, and we had corresponded about other things."

    Finegold and Flamm said they're upset about the amount of money spent on
    magnetic bracelets, insoles, wrist and knee bands, back and neck braces, and
    even pillows and mattresses -- an estimated $300 million a year in the United
    States, and $1 billion worldwide.

    They're also concerned about scientifically designed, controlled studies
    claiming to show that magnetic therapy can provide benefit for conditions such
    as carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis. It's almost impossible to conduct a
    "double-blind" study in which both the physician and the patient are unaware of
    who is getting the real treatment, because the presence of magnets is always
    obvious, they wrote.

    And they worry that self-treatment with magnetic therapy "may result in an
    underlying medical condition being left untreated."

    But Dr. Michael I. Weintraub, a clinical professor of neurology and internal
    medicine at New York Medical College in Valhalla, N.Y., disagrees with that
    conclusion.

    Weintraub, who has done extensive studies of magnetic therapy, agreed "there
    have been numerous bogus claims about magnetotherapy", and some items being
    sold to the public are worthless. But "all magnets are not equal," he said, and
    the proper magnet used properly for the proper period of time can be effective
    in some conditions.

    Weintraub said he has done the kind of controlled study, which is considered
    the gold standard of medical research, on magnetic therapy for several
    conditions, including diabetic peripheral neuropathy, in which nerves gradually
    die. A study of 375 diabetics who wore a magnetic device for one month (with
    control subjects who wore a sham device) showed "benefits equal to or better
    than that from drugs," he said.

    One point against magnetic therapy made in the Finegold-Flamm editorial is that
    magnetic resonance imaging devices, which use extremely powerful magnets, "show
    neither ill nor healing effects." Weintraub disputes that contention, too.

    A study he did involving 1,000 individuals exposed to magnetic resonance
    imaging found that "a significant number of cases, 18 to 20 percent," did
    report negative effects, such as a metallic taste in the mouth or worsening of
    some symptoms. A report on that study has been submitted to a journal for
    publication, Weintraub said.

    Flamm conceded that it's possible magnets can have a physical effect, because a
    changing magnetic field can create electricity and heat. "There may be
    something there," he said.

    "But what we know pretty much for sure is that the claims everything they are
    selling on the Internet appear to be totally baseless," Flamm said.

    Finegold had financial advice for anyone thinking about buying such a device:
    "If you want to use a magnet, buy the cheapest. It will relieve the pain in
    your wallet."

    More information

    Questions about magnetic therapy for pain are answered by the National Center
    for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at
    http://nccam.nih.gov/health/magnet/magnet.htm .

    (SOURCES: Leonard Finegold, Ph.D, professor, physics, Drexel University,
    Philadelphia; Bruce L. Flamm, M.D., partner physician, obstetrics and
    gynecology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Riverside, Calif.; Michael I.
    Weintraub, M.D., clinical professor, neurology and internal medicine, New York
    Medical College, Valhalla, N.Y.; Jan. 7, 2006, British Medical Journal)
  2. sniffles

    sniffles New Member

    I read the articles about magnetic therapy you posted and I know they are suppost to be the experts, but I for one disagree with them. I have used them for many years, mostly for my degenerated disc in my back. I wore a credit size magnet against my lower back to keep the pain down enough that I could keep working. Without it, I couldn't walk or stand without lots of shooting pains that stopped me in my tracks. Now that I have all these other problems to deal with, some days I wish I could just wrap my whole body up in one large magnet. I now have to get the spinal epadurels in my back several times a year just to be able to walk anymore, but I still count on that little boost that the credit card size magnet gives me when I need a little extra help. What helps one person may not be right for everyone, but all the people that tells us that our money was wasted if we bought a magnet doesn't have the kind of pain that we are all aware of every day of our lives. I get angry when people try to tell us that they know more about what works than we do, when we find some relief without taking another pill. Sorry if this seems a little gruff, but I still have a sound mind and I want others to know that they (magnets) can be of help if used for a certain area and if there isn't another medical problem involved. As for Prof. Finegold and Dr. Flamm, they just don't understand the meaning of PAIN and what it means to all of us to try ways to get the relief that we need. Wish they could spend about six months in our shoes and then see if they would make fun of spending our money on (magnets) or other things we find that gives us at least a little relief from this chronic pain. I didn't get my magnet over the inter-net, but thru a well known company and have purchased 2 different sizes. One very happy customer here!!!!!! Sniffles
  3. tansy

    tansy New Member

    articles on non orthodox Tx dismissing their possible benefits. In spite of the heading this article does at least include another viewpoint based on sucess that was equal to, if not better, than orthodox medicine.

    I know a PWME/CFS in the UK who's been severely affected and disabled for many years. He now has terminal cancer to contend with, he was given just months to live about 4 years ago. He has been treating his ME/CFS with B12 and alternatives, one of those alternatives is magnets. He wears quite a few magnets and says they increase bodywide oxygenation and energy, plus they help with some his pain.

    Last year he travelled overseas extensively, something he could never have done before.

    I had a cervical spine MRI last spring. I was very relaxed and had no fears about the procedure. Even so it set my heart fluttering off and seemed to affect my breathing; that could only have been the strong magnetic field.

    The use of magnets has increased. Where I live this increased popularity for magnets has come about through word of mouth rather than the claims made by the manufacturers. The same is true of alternatives for arthritis like glucosamine; their increased popularity is because people can see the results.

    love, Tansy[This Message was Edited on 01/08/2006]
  4. savefuel

    savefuel New Member

    The main reason that most doctors reject magnet therapy is financial. When people start feeling better, to any degree, the doctors lose a valuable source of income, as do the pharmaceutical companies. I and others with similiar conditions in this area have had varying degrees of relief with using some form of magnets, from getting better sleep to coming off meds.