Chronic Pain Treatment with Magnetic Therapy

Chronic pain treatment with magnetic therapy is something that people living with chronic pain will naturally want to seek out. Let us learn about the challenge of chronic pain and see how magnetic therapy works can be applied to the body.

chronic pain treatment with magnetic therapy

What is chronic pain?

Chronic and persistent pain affects millions of people worldwide and generally is poorly treated; otherwise it would cease to be chronic.

Chronic pain is usually caused by an original injury that affects the nerves, or conditions such as diabetes, fibromyalgia and arthritis. Often chronic pain behaves like a smoke alarm that continues to sound long after the fire has been put out. So too an initial injury may have long past, but the body’s pain messaging keeps firing and the sensation of strong pain persists.

In time, the nervous system changes, becomes more sensitized and can begin to amplify the bodies pain messaging. The pain is said to become “maladaptive”. If one is able to calm or dampen down these over sensitive nerves, then the relief of chronic pain symptoms may be possible. 

People living with chronic pain can have the added problem of having their pain remain undiagnosed. Trigeminal Neuralgia for instance, often referred to as the suicide pain; the atypical type takes on average 5 years to diagnose! You experience severe pain because the nerve cells that are responsible for pain transmission are overactive and your nervous system becomes more sensitive.

One of the reasons for this “maladaptive pain” is due to the abnormal activity of so called “voltage-gated sodium channels” that are in these nerve cells. Conventional anaesthesia drugs, such as lignocaine act on fast voltage-gated sodium channels to provide a local anaesthetic. Whereas over the counter medication such as Ibuforin work by inhibiting the production of the inflammatory hormone prostaglandin causing numbness and severe side-effects.

Research suggests a possible mechanism for the pain relieving effects of magnetic therapy treatment is changing how a nerve cell signals. While Wikipedia finds it difficult to break away from the vested interests surrounding drugs and surgery, magnetic field therapy could provide a genuine inexpensive and simple alternative according to published research and our protocols presented below.

Do magnets really work for chronic pain relief?

The answer is yes and no. No, it won’t work if you use ineffective magnets or place them incorrectly on the body. Yes, it may work to provide substantial and/or instant pain relief. Therefore, with some knowledge and practice, it is worth trying chronic pain treatment with magnetic therapy.

In 1991, scientists from the Department of Neurology, Vanderbilt Medical University Centre, Tennessee, USA, published one of the key research papers that showed us that multi-polar magnet configurations are required to produce blockade of sensory neuron action potentials, or the pain messaging.​​(1)​

effects of magnetic field therapy on pain signals

chronic pain treatment magnet by dr. robert holcomb - quadrapolar

It’s important to note that its now accepted scientifically that bipolar magnets used in magnetic therapy jewelry like magnetic bracelets are largely ineffective for chronic pain management.​(2)​

The first generation of Quadrapolar magnets were developed by Neurologist, Dr Robert Holcomb M.D. PhD and were comprised of four separate bipolar magnets assembled into a Quadrapolar array. The four magnets were then encased in a plastic housing. The field gradient which is the change in magnetic field strength over distance is strongest where the individual magnets touched.

We’ve expanded on the work of Dr. Holcomb’s original design and studied his experiments to further improve the effects of multi-polar magnetic field therapy for chronic pain. See How Q Magnets Work for more detailed information.

Magnetic Therapy for Chronic Pain

Pioneering work on using magnetic field therapy to treat chronic pain at Vanderbilt Medical University has been profiled on numerous TV shows, including Dateline and Australia’s Good Medicine.

Clinical data was collected at various Medical Centres and Universities around the world with thousands of experiments conducted on sensory neurones. It was observed that the unique steep magnetic field gradient generated by the Quadrapolar magnet actually interrupted the method by which nerves transmit pain. Single pole static magnets had little or no blocking affect on the pain messaging system, that is the action potential​(3)​. This was an incredible breakthrough in pain science.

In 2000, the team was able to provide long-term pain relief for up to 2 years for patients with chronic pain in abdomen and genitals. ​(4)​

The first generation of quadrapolar magnets were developed by Neurologist, Dr Robert Holcomb and were comprised of four separate bipolar magnets assembled into a quadrapolar array. The four magnets were then encased in a plastic housing. The field gradient which is the change in magnetic field strength over distance is strongest where the individual magnets touched.

We’ve advanced the technology further and have been experimenting since 2009.

Quadrapolar Magnets for Healing Chronic Pain - Schematic

Q Magnets is the next generation of quadrapolar magnets and is a world first. It combines3 an innovative design with the latest magnetization techniques to include four alternating poles within the one magnetic body. We also now have hexapolar and octapolar designs.

This means that there is no “wasted” space between the four individual round magnets of the original design. Instead of the field gradient being at its steepest where the four magnets meet, the next generation Q Magnet has a much steeper field gradient along the entire boundary of the alternating pole quadrants allowing deeper penetration and a larger area of effect.

See information on device selection for more details including an explanation and description of the research. This multipolar magnetic technology has been enhanced to give hope to people experiencing chronic pain.. Chronic pain has a challenger now!

How to apply magnetic therapy for chronic pain relief

Since therapeutic magnetic fields work on abnormally firing nerve fibers, it is important to find where these signals originate and place them over the offending nerve. A trigger point locator can be utilized if it’s hard to pin-point the origin of your pain.

magnet therapy for chronic pain in lower back
Photo showing Q Magnets placement for lower back pain

Simply by carefully placing multi-polar therapeutic magnets on the skin’s surface, you may experience the temporary relief of pain in a matter of minutes! Don’t dismiss this new technology if you’ve tried the common bipolar magnet therapy before with little or no results.

For best results, it is advisable to use the proper magnetic devices that provide therapeutic effects and reach the nerve fiber in the body in ideal angle. We provide magnets and instructions, so you can easily apply magnetic therapy for chronic pain relief at home.

Our how to use section provides a comprehensive guide for applying magnetic therapy devices accurately and for all parts of body.

magnetic therapy for knee pain treatment

Q Magnets have been attached with double sided adhesive to cover a knee pain treatment protocol.

Used correctly, Q Magnets have the ability to provide comfort or localized temporary relief of pain and without the side-effects. Since around one in five people suffer from chronic pain at some point in their life, the role magnetic therapy can play in improving the quality of their lives is enormous.


In conclusion, magnetic field therapy is indeed a treatment option worth investigating. There is strong research available which should be studied to understand the nature of magnetic fields and their various configurations to be able to apply magnetic therapy effectively for pain relief.


  1. McLean MJ, Holcomb RR, et. al. Effects of Steady Magnetic Fields on Action Potentials of Sensory Neurons in Vitro.”8(2). [Internet]. Environmentalist 8(2). 1991. Available from: https://www.qmagnets.com/downloads/pub-effect-1.pdf
  2. Pittler M, Brown E, Ernst E. Static magnets for reducing pain: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials. CMAJ [Internet]. 2007 Sep 25;177(7):736–42. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17893349
  3. McLean M, Holcomb R, Wamil A, Pickett J, Cavopol A. Blockade of sensory neuron action potentials by a static magnetic field in the 10 mT range. Bioelectromagnetics [Internet]. 1995 Jan 1;16(1):20–32. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7748200
  4. Holcomb R, Worthington W, McCullough B, McLean M. Static magnetic field therapy for pain in the abdomen and genitals. Pediatr Neurol [Internet]. 2000 Sep 1;23(3):261–4. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11033291


The safety and effectiveness of Q Magnets has not been established in the treatment of chronic pain. The above information is for educational purposes only (OR is a guide only), please check with your treating doctor before modifying any treatment.

Chronic Overlapping Pain Conditions (COPC) & Magnetic Field Therapy

Chronic Overlapping Pain Conditions (COPC) & Magnetic Field Therapy

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