Healthy Skepticism is Good....
What's the attraction to those magnetic bracelets?
Q: I cannot believe you would write about magnetic bracelets for arthritis. This is just a bunch of hooey designed to loosen the purse strings of gullible readers.
I am surprised you would give credence to any "study" of this nonsense.
A: We agree that magnet therapy seems far-fetched, but just because we don't understand how something works doesn't mean we should ignore it.
The well-designed study you refer to was published in the British Medical Journal (Dec. 16, 2004). The researchers randomly assigned patients to wear a bracelet containing either a strong magnet, a weak magnet or a nonmagnetic washer.
After three months the patients wearing the strong magnets had measurable relief from hip and knee pain. The investigators concluded that "Pain from osteoarthritis of the hip and knee decreases when wearing magnetic bracelets."
The placebo effect is hard to eliminate in such studies, but these scientists did their best to control for it. Even though they could not explain how magnet therapy works, they summarized: "Whatever the mechanism, the benefit from magnetic bracelets seems clinically useful."
Posted by Jay Roberts at 03:24 AM | Permalink