Dr Richard Lawson
Easing pain with magnetic therapy
|Extract from GP Medicine October 31 1999|
About five years ago, a patient handed me a
coil of flexible magnetic strip and suggested that I try it
on patients with rheumatism. He said that it had helped him
through wearing it on his wrists.
|Many patients are prepared to risk the expense,
and the supplier of the magnet is often prepared to refund the
cost if the patient has no improvement.
I use a Bioflow magnet which costs £30. Cheaper alternatives are available by mail order but seem less robust. My practice has three magnets available for free trial, and patients who are unable to pay may use one of these.
Since January 1997, 34 patients have tried the magnets. In no case did symptoms worsen. Four males and 11 females reported no change in symptoms. Nineteen patients — 14 female and 5 males — reported improvements and six of these showed marked improvement. The average age of the patients in each group was similar.
The conditions for which the magnets improved the patient’s symptoms included osteoarthritis of the hands, hips and knees, cervical radiculopathy and rotator cuff syndrome. Patients with sciatica, epicondylitis, chronic myalgia did not respond to the treatment with the magnets.
|Analgesic properties of magnetism
There is a growing body of literature on the therapeutic effects of magnetism, mainly from Eastern Europe, but increasingly from the USA as well.
Many of these reports are about the analgesic properties of magnetism but there are also descriptions of beneficial effects in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. These include improvements in visual memory and other cognitive functions. Visual neglect in Parkinson’s disease has also responded to the treatment.
The conceptual stumbling block to the investigation of this form of treatment is the widespread notion that magnets only affect objects made of iron.
However, ferromagnetism is only one form of magnetic function. Other known forms include diamagnetism, where a magnetic field induces a current and subsequently an opposing magnetic force in a molecule.
Magnetic Resonance imaging is an example of diamagnetism. This imaging technique uses the fact that every electron, as it spins, acts as a small bar-magnet and that magnetic effect can be ordered and summated.
|Although the causal mechanism for the therapeutic
effects of wrist magnets is not known, it is likely that electrically
charged macro-molecules are ordered as they pass through the
magnetic field, helping physiological processes to work more
Placebo effect cannot be ruled out
The placebo effect cannot be ruled out on the basis of my anecdotal evidence. But whatever the causal mechanism, the improvement in the comfort and quality of my patient’s lives is clear.
A double-blind clinical trial using dummy bracelets would help establish the efficiency of the treatment. But in common with many other non-drug treatments, a blind trial is not possible as patients can easily find out whether they are wearing a real magnet. In the meantime, experimentation with this approach to pain relief cannot do any harm, and may do much good.
Dr Lawson in a GP in Congresbury, Somerset
|Magnets have improved patient’s symptoms in osteoarthritis of the hands, hips and knees|
|Dr Lawson’s anecdotal findings
· ·He suggested the use of magnets to patients after a relative found them very effective for chronic pain.
· · Thirty-four patients with chronic pain, mainly due to osteoarthritis, tried magnetic wrist bands
· · More than half the patients found that the magnets helped relieve their pain
· · The patients gained considerable relief from the magnetic wristband
|Dr Lawson’s case study
· · A 66 year old man presented with severe brachalgia with parasthesia and weakness in his left hand. Physiotherapy caused the pain to worsen.
· ·After three months, he developed pain in his right arm and left sciatic pain. The shoulder pain progressed but he responded to corticosteroid injections.
· · The patient had borne this stoically but developed muscular chest pain possibly related to hyperventilation. He was treated with rebreathing techniques
· · He visited the local pain clinic nine months after the brachalgia began but found that TENS was not helpful
· · A year after his symptoms began, I advised the patient to try a wrist magnet. Within eight days he declared himself to be much better.
· · The pain remained controlled until one day he had a sudden relapse. He discovered he had left the magnet off and the pain settled within an hour of reapplying the magnet
Magnotherapy is the application of a magnetic field to living tissue. It has been used to help relieve aches and pains and to accelerate healing for hundreds of years and has gained rapid popularity in recent times:
Natural remedies can be a valuable alternative to synthetic medication and drugs for arthritis pain treatment.
Magnetic bracelets offer natural arthritis pain relief for both people and animals
All Bioflow Magnetic bracelets have a one year guarantee on parts as well as a 90-day money back warranty
WARNING - Bioflow magnetic bracelets products should not be worn by anyone fitted with a heart pace-maker or other implant that could be affected by a strong magnetic field. Bioflow Distributors are not usually medical practitioners and are therefore not qualified to provide medical advice. There are very few conditions that have not been helped by Bioflow and it is most unlikely that Bioflow can do any harm. However, if there is any reason for concern the customer should seek professional advice as to the suitability of the product.