Treating pain with magnets

Treating Pain With Magnets

Magnet therapy is a complete hoax or perhaps it is the best product pain sufferers can buy? People who use magnets to treat chronic pain will tell you that it works, and better yet, doesn't have any of the side effects that come with drugs. Others say magnets are useless for pain control and cite scientific proof showing magnets have no effect on pain. You'll have to decide.

It's true that scientific studies do not prove magnets relieve pain; however,  science can be slow to determine how holistic and alternative medicine works. Everyday millions of people find relief from chronic pain with chiropractic, and mainstream medicine has only recently begun to accept it as a valid choice. For many years it was regarded as quackery.

Magnets have been used to treat chronic conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and diabetic neuropathy and well as injuries caused by trauma. It is believed magnets increase blood flow and interfere with the electrochemical reactions that cause muscle contractions involved in many kinds of pain.

The Measurement of Magnetic Strength Lower strength magnets, normally used for therapy, are perfectly safe and the products do not have adverse side effects; so users should not worry about overdosing on magnetic strength. Although patients with active implants such as heart pacemakers and insulin pumps should not wear magnets. However it is possible to underdose on strength. A minimum strength per magnet is required to ensure that the magnetic field is powerful enough to penetrate through the skin and into the blood stream.

Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855), a German, was one of the greatest mathematician of his time. In 1841 he devised the world’s first magnetic telegraph. He studied the earth’s magnetic poles (north and south), and devised tables to calculate magnetic strength.

Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), a Croatian, worked closely with Thomas Edison in the USA. Tesla later developed alternating current (AC) systems as distinct from the Direct Current (DC) systems developed by Edison. Tesla has numerous patents to his credit which are the basis of many modern day technologies.

The first international standard unit of magnetic measurement was called the gauss. The SI (Systeme Internationale) measurement of magnetic flux (strength) was named after Tesla. The Tesla is a much larger unit than that of gauss, so It is predominantly used in industrial applications, where very high strength magnets may be used. Tesla is not an appropriate measuring system for medical magnets as the calculation of strength has to be represented as milli tesla (1 thousandth of a tesla). However medicine is adopting the SI system of measurement so it becoming more common to find magnetic strengths listed in tesla.


A Tesla is a unit of magnetic flux density. It is equivalent to these other units:
1 Weber per square meter
10,000 Gauss (10 kilogauss)
10,000 magnetic field lines per square centimeter
65,000 magnetic field lines per square inch.

One Gauss is about 6.5 magnetic field lines per square inch. If you place the tip of your index finger to the tip of your thumb, enclosing approximately 1 square inch, four magnetic field lines would pass through that hole due to the earth's magnetic field!

Here is a list of relative strengths of magnetic fields:
Smallest value in a magnetically shielded room 10^-14 Tesla 10^-10 Gauss
Interstellar space 10^-10 Tesla 10^-6 Gauss
Earth's magnetic field
0.00005 Tesla
0.5 Gauss
Small bar magnet 0.01 Tesla 100 Gauss
Within a sunspot 0.15 Tesla
1500 Gauss
Small NIB magnet 0.2 Tesla 2000 Gauss
Big electromagnet 1.5 Tesla 15,000 Gauss
Strong lab magnet 10 Tesla 100,000 Gauss
Surface of neutron star 100,000,000 Tesla 10^12 Gauss

 Arthritis Pain:

According to the December 2004 issue of the British Medical Journal, one study using Bioflow magnetic bracelets concluded that wearing magnetic bracelets can significantly reduce the pain of arthritis. With Celebrex and Vioxx recently called into question as treatments for arthritis, the study is good news to the millions suffering from the disease.

Arthritis may affect thirty percent of adults in the developed world, and many of them suffer in silence. Other than prescription drugs, there are  alternative pain management therapies such as massage, acupuncture, and magnetic therapy.

In the BMJ study it was acknowledged that there was a need for more research regarding the placebo effect. We know that believing in any particular remedy is more likely to create a positive subjective report of improvement. It’s also true that taking any kind of action to alleviate pain results in some sense of ease.

Does the placebo effect havea role in magnetic therapy? yes! but it also plays a role in the effectiveness of prescription medication. If magnet therapy works, then it works!

If you’re suffering from the pain of arthritis, you might as well test magnetic therapy. It can’t hurt, and it might really help. And that’s what matters.


Osteoporosis, is a degenerative condition characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to bone fragility and an increased susceptibility to fractures of the hip, spine, and wrist. Men as well as women suffer from osteoporosis, a disease that can be prevented and treated.

Osteoporosis is the "silent disease" as it can develop w  without symptoms. People may not know that they have osteoporosis until their bones become so weak that a sudden strain, bump, or fall causes a hip fracture or a vertebra to collapse. Collapsed vertebra may initially be felt or seen in the form of severe back pain, loss of height, or spinal deformities such as kyphosis, or severely stooped posture.

Most bones have a thick outer shell and a strong inner mesh filled with collagen.. The inside looks like honeycomb, with blood vessels and bone marrow in the spaces between bone. Osteoporosis occurs when the holes between bone become bigger, making it fragile and liable to break easily. Osteoporosis usually affects the whole skeleton but it most commonly causes breaks (fractures) to bone in the wrist, spine and hip.

Bone is alive and constantly changing. Old bone is broken down by cells called osteoclasts and replaced by with new bone by osteoblasts.

Magnetic therapy treatment for osteoporosis.

Magnetic therapy treatments for osteoporosis follow the same rules that apply to the treatment of arthritis. That is the magnets need to be applied as close to the point of pain as possible. The same devices can be used for osteoporosis: magnetic therapy straps, wraps, insoles, pads and jewellery. Because osteoporosis is predominantly found in the long bones (although all bones with low density can be affected) most major load bearing joints are affected. For this reason painful symptoms can be very severe as mobilising becomes extremely painful, to ensure the fastest possible result from magnetic therapy super strength magnets (2500-3000 gauss/ 250-300 m tesla) should preferably be used.

Fractures are very common with osteoporosis and magnets can increase the bodies ability to heal bone fractures. If you sustain a bone fracture magnets should be applied to the site of the fracture as soon as possible after the break. If the bone is in a plaster cast then it will not be possible to use magnets until it has been removed but as soon as the cast is removed magnets can be applied. They will increase the rate at which the bone knits together plus encourage new cellular growth around the fracture site.

RSI, Tendonitis and Carpal tunnel syndrome:

Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) occur from repeated physical movements doing damage to tendons, nerves, muscles, and other soft body tissues. Many occupations can have characteristic RSIs resulting from their typical tasks. High speed typing on computer keyboards has led to an epidemic of injuries of the hands, arms, and shoulders. Mice and trackballs can be worse!

RSI is not a medical diagnosis. It describes a number of named musculoskeletal conditions (such as Tenosynovitis, Cramp of the Hand, Tendonitis, etc.) as well as 'diffuse RSI' which is more difficult to define but which recent research attributes to nerve damage. These are almost always occupational in origin. This condition refers to the tender swelling of tendons,  When any group of tendons are overused microscopic tears can result, leading to inflammation. Even a minor contraction in the muscle can then lead to further irritation.

Tendonitis more commonly affects the hand, wrist, elbows and shoulders, although it may occur at any joint in the body. Other conditions may be linked to inflammation of the tendons, such as Tenosynovitis. Tendonitis results in pain and local tenderness. The thickening and scarring may prevent the affected fingers or limbs from going through their normal range of movements. The increase in pain and disability is usually gradual, unless the injury is the result of sudden strain (tearing) or a direct blow.

The carpal tunnel is a passageway in the wrist formed by the eight carpal (wrist) bones, which make up the floor and sides of the tunnel, and the transverse carpal ligament, a strong ligament stretching across the roof of the tunnel. Inside the carpal tunnel are tendons which run down from the muscles in the forearm and  flex the fingers and also the median nerve cord.

In carpal tunnel syndrome the median nerve gets squeezed, often because the tendons become swollen and overfill the tunnel. The median nerve within the carpal tunnel is very sensitive to pressure and so there are many possible causes including arthritis, fluid retention and diabetes. If the problem comes on during the day it is important to look for a link to regular physical activities at work or home, for example; writing, typing, using a computer mouse, DIY, housework or knitting. Repeated flexion and extension of the wrist, as is common in various work activities, can cause inflammation which puts pressure on the nerve.

Magnetic treatment of RSI,Tendonitis and Carpal tunnel syndrome.

RSI, Tendonitis and Carpal tunnel syndrome are injuries relating to the stress and overload of tendons and muscles with in the body. Although most people associate them with the hand, wrist and arm, RSI can occur anywhere in the body where the is a constant repetition of an action. This type of strain injuries are usually acute in natural rather than chronic and can be treated very successfully. The predominant aim with all of these conditions is to reduce the inflammation which surrounds the strained tendons, muscles and tissues, plus renew the damaged soft tissue. Whilst conventional treatments revolve around using painkillers, rest , splints and even in some cases (carpal tunnel syndrome) surgery, magnets will work to treat the inflammation that is causing the condition to continue. Typical magnetic therapy treatments for these conditions would be:

1)RSI: Wherever the RSI is located magnets must be placed directly over the strained area using straps or wraps, such as the Bioflow Boost.

2)Tendonitis: As theis usually in the arm, magnetic jewellery worn on the wrist will be suitable, such as any of the Bioflow or BrodTens wristbands.

3)Carpal tunnel syndrome: This is always located in the wrist and should be treated with magnetic bracelet,  worn day and night.