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Scientific Evidence for Magnetic Field Therapy

 

Many people ask, what’s the scientific evidence for using magnets for pain relief?

Like any medical treatment, the subject of evidence should address the question, does it work? But the bottom line is…do the benefits outweigh the risks and inconvenience and justify the costs? The simplicity and low costs of static magnets, certainly sets a low bar in this respect.

 

Guidelines for the treatment of osteoarthritis are changing

 

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners have developed new guidelines for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee and hip.

The statistics were showing that too many hip and knee replacements procedures were not helping patients and many were simply unnecessary. Exercise is now the treatment of choice for osteoarthritis, ahead of medications and surgery.

 

How even good articles make misleading claims about magnetic therapy

 

Media articles that cover magnetic therapy, almost without exception ignore, or in some cases ridicule the idea that static magnets can relieve pain. Articles such as Magnets’ pull yet to be proven, demonstrate this so well.

 

A very good article; You won’t believe how magnets are changing medicine  in My Body & Soul explains some of the exciting areas where magnets are being used in medicine.

Clinical Trial Shows Magnets Provide Pain Relief from Myofascial Trigger Points.

The Physical Therapy department at Armstrong Atlantic State University conducted a Randomised Clinical Trial using static magnets on myofascial trigger point pain. The 2004 study was part of the student capstone project and supervised by professors of the physical therapy department. Although the study wasn’t published, the results were presented at the Bioelectromagnetics Society annual meeting.

 

A 1997 clinical trial by Vallbona, showed a significant benefit to patients suffering post-polio pain using a flexible rubber magnet with concentric rings in alternating poles. The study at Armstrong involved 30 patients and tested the same magnets as the Vallbona study, but on a more general population.

Magnetic Fields used in Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

SUMMARY:

  1. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) passes an unimpeded magnetic field through the scalp and skull.
  2. The action on the brain is caused by electromagnetic induction, which is basically creating electrical activity within a very specific part of the brain through a changing magnetic field.
  3. The magnetic field has been optimised for the therapy and the dose given to a precise part of the brain.
  4. This article will also discuss tSMS or Transcranial Static Magnetic Field Stimulation.
  5. Research has found it to be as effective as anti-depressants and that’s even with patients who did not respond to anti-depressant medication.

 

Transcranial, meaning through the cranium (or skull) with magnetic fields into the brain, is where the term Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is derived. Sometimes known as repetitive rTMS, it directs strong magnetic field pulses into specific parts of the brain to stimulate a response. For instance, the prefrontal cortex is a target to treat depression. The magnetic treatment has been approved in many countries such as the United States for the treatment of medication resistant depression. However in countries such as Australia, it has yet to receive access to Medicare funding. TMS is an emerging field with many therapeutic applications and a growing list of conditions such as anxiety, PTSD and OCD.

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