Sceptics Posts

Magnet field therapy for pain relief – Radio 2UE Healthy Living

We have provided a transcript of the interview with some links to the supporting documents and quoted studies.

Introduction by host David Prior of 2UE:
People have been using magnets for a long time now, third century AD the Greeks were actually treating arthritis with magnets. Medieval doctors used magnets to treat gout, poisoning and also baldness, believe it or not. Today, magnets are popular for pain relief for shoe insoles, bracelets, head bands, belts and mattress pads. So, can magnets bring about better health doctor Ross? What is the research?

OK, last week (link to last week’s show) I was mentioning that I have trialled magnets for pain relief, I’ve trialled the Scenar therapy and I’ve also trialled the Pain Master. All of which have given me enormous relief, which I think is a good thing. I don’t think you need the very rigid randomised controlled clinical trials that you might need for strong pharmaceutical agents that also have the potential for harm or for significant surgical procedures. Alex called up and said I shouldn’t be condoning or advising therapy that doesn’t have proper science. He said there was a Cochrane Review that said that magnets don’t help at all, that it’s basically just snake oil salesman stuff.

Cochrane Review Supports the Use of Electromagnetic Field Therapy

The type of magnets evaluated in this review are electromagnetic fields (generated by electricity) and not static magnetic fields as Q Magnets are defined.


The Cochrane Collaboration published an important review in October 2013 called “Electromagnetic fields for treating osteoarthritis (Review)”.

Three Things You Should Know When Someone Says – “There is no Evidence for the Use of Static Magnets”.

Two of the most recent scientific reviews on the effectiveness of static magnets have been by Pittler et al (2007) and Laakso et al (2009). See references below where both articles are free to access.

Pittler’s paper concluded from the 29 studies it reviewed… ”The evidence does not support the use of static magnets for pain relief, and therefore magnets cannot be recommended as an effective treatment.” Since this is often quoted by those seeking to discredit the therapeutic use of static magnets it deserves to be scrutinised.

The first anomaly is the summary of the study by Segal (2001). Compare Pittler’s summary… “No significant differences”, to Laakso’s summary of the exact same study… “Significantly less pain in treatment group compared to control group”. See tables below.

How pointing to the results of one study can be totally misleading…


In an article on that was critical of magnetic therapy, the author made the comment that…

The deathblow to magnet therapy should have been the large, randomized, double-blinded study on pain published in 2007 in Anesthesia & Analgesia. Yet sales of therapeutic magnets remain legal.

We have made numerous mentions of this study by Cepeda, for example here and here. It’s clear that the Quadrapolar magnets used in the study were not even placed over the post-surgical wound, but around it. It’s unlikely that any of the magnetic field from the magnets applied to the patients would have enveloped the target tissue, that being the wound which is the site of the inflammation.

John’s experience with Q Magnets and pain.

I have been using the Quadrapolar technology for several years as a means to reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis in multiple joints. I was somewhat skeptical to start with but the fact of the matter is that my pain reduces when I have these on and I can return to doing the majority of the activities I enjoy.

The 2nd key aspect for those in the medical community is that the research and evidence behind this technology is rapidly accumulating and can’t be overlooked. If you are involved with anyone who has a painful condition then I thoroughly recommend that you start using the quadrapolar technology at Q-Magnets. You won’t be disappointed either as a practitioner or someone has ongoing pain.

John Davie
Professional Performance Specialists Pty Ltd


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