Effects of Moderate Static Magnetic Fields on Nerve Conduction and its Relevance to Q Magnet Therapy

Pages on the Q magnets  website such as “how Q magnets work” and “magnetic field gradients” describe how inhomogeneous static magnetic fields (iSMF) affect nerve fibres. A recently published study provides further confirmation of the physiologic effects as we have described.

Okano et al. (2012) The Effects of Moderate-Intensity Gradient Static Magnetic Fields on Nerve Conduction. Bioelectromagnetics. 2012 Mar 16.
PMID, doi

SUMMARY:
The effects of SMF on nerve conduction are unclear and the underlying mechanisms not well understood. This study focused on the effects of a moderate (iSMF) on membrane excitation and refractory processes on frog sciatic nerve fibres.

Nerve conduction velocity (NCV) was measured and compared within three groups, a control and a 0.21Tesla and 0.7Tesla iSMF.

Graph showing effects of inhomogeneous static magnetic fields on nerve conduction

Effect of control (black) and two different iSMF’s on Nerve Conduction Velocity

The researchers speculate that the action of moderate-intensity iSMF may act in a similar way to that of Na+ channel-blocking anaesthetics. With regard to nerve conduction, iSMF did not affect large diameter, myelinated, fast conducting nerve fibres, but only small diameter, unmyelinated, slow conducting C-fibres. This may be due to the fact that C-fibres possess a relatively greater density of voltage gated Na+ channels.

These findings are consistent with that of McLean et al.  in that an iSMF has a negligible effect on fast as compared to slow conducting nerves. Fast conducting nerves such as Aβ and Aδ fibres are responsible for proprioception and the withdrawal reflex so the body’s natural warning and protective mechanisms still function as normal. However nociceptors, the small C-fibres responsible for the dull ache are likely to be less sensitive to a pain stimulus when in the presence of an optimised iSMF. The dampening or calming down of sensitized C-fibres can increase the pain threshold and improve the quality of life of pain sufferers.

When it comes to administering magnetic therapy, there are at least 6 variables. In addition, the research suggests there is a “window of effectiveness” for static magnet devices to have therapeutic value. When the device has been optimised for therapeutic effect and applied in a way that the field envelopes the target tissue, then the pain relieving effects can be remarkable.

Researchers such as Okano et al add to our understanding, so the design of static magnetic devices can be improved for therapeutic effects in treating chronic pain and improving injury recovery.

 

 

 

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