North South Magnetics
Magnet Therapy

 

Magnetic Therapy



Introduction

The use of magnets as therapeutic devices is not new. Magnet Therapy is an age-old practice going back many civilisations and was mentioned in ancient writings from many cultures. It is now undergoing a popular revival, this is in part through the influence of modern magnetic materials and also due to the increasing use of magnet therapy in the health and sports arena to relieve pain and encourage healing of injuries.

Magnet Therapy has become an alternative treatment method for many medical conditions. Magnetic therapy is well advanced in Japan, China, India, Australia and Germany. There is growing interest from other countries including Great Britain, Holland, Canada and the United States.




Pet Therapy Sleep Therapy Sports Therapy Water Therapy Bracelet Therapy



Orb Magnet Deficiency
  • Magnetism is a basic force in nature: The Earth itself has a natural magnetic field and all creatures are born and live out their lives under the influence of this natural force. It protects life on the planet by shielding us from harmful radiation, and it is said to have a nourishing and beneficial effect on us.
  • Magnetic Deficiency: Many people believe that modern day mankind may be "magnetic deficient". This condition may be arising from modern life, the insulating effect of living and working in concrete and high-rise buildings. Added to this we are surrounded by a surfeit of electronic and electrical gadgetry. Both of these effects actually block our natural exposure to the Earths magnetic field. There is also a relatively recent decline in the Earth's magnetic field. If this 'magnetic deficiency' is true, it may be the cause behind many recent unexplained illnesses, and why the use of magnets can have a positive effect in so many conditions.
Orb How Does It Work? One Possible Theory

There are many viewpoints and theories, both new and old, as to how magnets work therapeutically.

  • Is it all in the Blood? Many commentators believe magnets have a significant effect on the blood mechanisms within the tissues. While it may be too simplistic to say that blood flow is improved under the influence of magnets, there maybe improvement in certain aspects of the bloods quality and function.
  • Improved Oxygenation? Magnetic therapy is based on the biological effects of magnetic fields on the living organism. When magnetic fields are properly applied (polarity, intensity and frequency) there is a reaction that is utilized in the treatment of illness, the alleviation of pain, and the general promotion of well being. A magnetic field penetrates every single cell being exposed to the field. This in turn is believed to influence the ion exchange within the cell, which improves the oxygen utilization of the cell. This is important for the healing and regeneration process.

Orb How Magnets Heal Our Bodies
Scientists are beginning to discover the wide-ranging effects of magnetism on the body. Further research is required, but specific physiological effects have been reported:
  • Magnets seem to improve the quality of the blood circulation. This can in turn increase the nutrient carrying potential of the blood. Blood flow is a key aspect in health and disease; this is probably one of the main healing benefits of using magnets. Improved blood quality results in a reduction in inflammation, reduced calcium deposits, lactic acid and other toxins. Tissues detoxify and the healing process begins.
  • It has also been reported that magnets can help block when nerve fibres are subject to a magnetic field, possibly producing endorphins, which are the body's own natural pain killers.
  • Magnetism can help heal nervous tissue and bones by speeding up the migration of calcium ions.
  • Melatonin production may also be influenced by exposure to magnetic fields; this hormone helps promote restful sound sleep.

Orb How Can A Magnetic Bracelet Help?
  • Magnets and Blood - the Essence of Life: One way in which magnetic bracelets are believed to work is via the magnetic influence over the blood flow at the wrist arteries. It is thought that the magnetism increases the electrical conductivity of the blood, creating a weak current and increasing the quantity of ions. The newly ionized blood circulates throughout the body improving oxygenation to cell tissue, thereby significantly contributing to the efficiency of the blood flow. Blood is essential to life. The quality and efficiency of its flow around the body has a major impact on our ability to heal; our health, fitness and vitality.
  • The Acupuncturist's View: The magnets stimulate key acupressure points on the wrist area to give relief from pain in the wrist or hand. Wrist acupressure points are used in traditional acupuncture to help with elbow, shoulder, arm and neck problems, as well as with other health issues including insomnia, stress, digestive problems and headaches.

Orb Magnet Therapy in Practice
  • What health conditions can be helped? Too numerous too mention! Millions of people worldwide use magnets for backaches, joint pains, chronic pain, poor circulation, insomnia, muscle aches, headaches, repetitive strain, carpal syndrome, swelling, low energy, sport injuries and many more, the list is endless.
  • What ways are there of using magnets? We suggest three methods:
  1. Locally: Use magnets, a wrap or other therapy magnet, directly over the problem area.
  2. General Approach: This is where magnetic bracelets are often used. The magnets line up over the main arteries at the wrist. The improved blood circulating through can then have a beneficial effect on other areas of the body.
  3. Dual Approach: In fact we suggest it is good to use both a local and general approach, as we believe this provides the best overall strategy to alleviate a problem.
  • How long will it take to feel some benefit from using magnets? Everybody is different and health problems vary considerably from person to person. Some people can feel benefits within hours, others it may take a couple of weeks.
  • How is Magnetic strength measured? The depth of penetration of a magnet depends on its actual physical size and gauss (or Tesla) measurement. Neodymium magnets are often high strength but are limited in size; Ferrite magnets have lower strength but can be made larger.
  • Is Magnet Therapy a cure all? No! But they do work for a high percentage of people, some achieving remarkable benefits, others a noticeable improvement.

Orb Are Magnets Safe?
  • The World Health Organization (WHO): published a study in 1987 stating that the magnetic strengths typically used in magnetic therapy do not have any detrimental effect on the human body.
  • General Precautions: It is advisable that pregnant women or people wearing electrical or electronic medical devices (e.g. a pacemaker, insulin pump etc) or metal implants should not use magnets. Small magnets should also be kept away from children in case they swallow them. Magnets should not be used near fresh cuts or wounds.



Orb ARTICLE 1. Back Problems
  • Introduction

    Back Problems Are Common
    Back problems are extremely common. One in five of us will suffer back pain severe enough to take time off work at some point in our lives. One in three will receive treatment ranging from drugs to some form of physical therapy. Back pain is a major cause of ill health, and absence from work.

    Common Causes
    Many people can damage their backs in accidents, sporting injuries, lifting heavy loads or even just by poor posture. Damage can also be caused by degenerative disease, by malformation of the bones or simply by growing old. Doctors try to diagnose the pain anatomically as a skeletal, muscular or nerve problem. Back problems can be acute, that is of recent onset, often with strong pain. A chronic case is of longer duration, with more dull type pain, or sometimes strong. In terms of treatment, the main stay of the Western Medical approach will be drugs, physiotherapy or surgery, or combinations of these. It must also be mentioned that some back pain can be the result of other conditions, for example kidney illness or pelvic disease.

    Difficulty of Diagnosis
    It is true to say that in many cases of back pain; no obvious cause can be identified. Although Western doctors have a detailed understanding of the anatomical structure of the back, it is a different matter to accurately diagnose a back problem. The back is highly complex, and the origin and cause of pain is not fully understood. It can be very difficult to locate the exact source of pain. Some studies estimate that 85% of patients with back pain do not receive a specific diagnosis for the cause of their pain. Without a specific diagnosis, the treatment plan can be a hit or miss process.

    People with No Back Pain Can Still Have Back Pathology!
    The situation is further complicated by research that has studied people with no back pain. These studies indicate that for people who do not suffer pain, there can be quite significant pathological changes. For example 20% of people under the age of 60 have slipped discs without symptoms, 30-60% of those under the age 35 have some degree of lumbar disc degeneration, again with no symptoms. These findings indicate that pathological changes may just be part of growing old and do not necessarily indicate pain or the cause of pain.

    Complementary Approaches are Valid
    In summary it seems fair to say that the orthodox medical approach does not fully understand all the various components and causes of back pain. The diagnosis and treatment of back pain is not an exact science, and can in fact be quite hit and miss. It is perfectly valid therefore, to explore other complementary approaches, particularly if these approaches to pain relief cause no harm and have no side effects, and have increasing anecdotal and scientific evidence to support them. This is where other treatment techniques such as bio magnetic therapy and acupuncture can step in and contribute towards a successful therapeutic outcome. Our advice is to try the complementary approach, but it is always wise to consult with your doctor on any medical condition you may have, in this way you will have all angles covered.
     
  • The Advantages of Using Bio Magnetic Therapy

    It's Safe: - Bio magnetic therapy is generally regarded as a safe form of treatment. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has deemed the magnets typically used in this type of therapy as safe. The usual precautions apply, i.e. pregnant women are advised not to use magnets. As magnets have an effect on electrical devices and metal objects, they should not be worn by anyone using electrical medical devices (e.g. pacemakers), or who have internal metal surgical implants. Keep small magnets away from children as they may swallow them.

    It's a Non-drug Approach: - Of course a major advantage of this approach is that it is a treatment for pain-relief without the use of drugs, and therefore without the side effects of drugs. It may be possible to actually reduce or eliminate your drug use. But of course always discuss any changes of drug use with your doctor.

    It's a Self-Help Therapy: - With bio magnetic therapy you help yourself. The patient is in control of the therapy. Quite often the patient knows, or soon learns, the pattern of his or her symptoms better than any outside expert. As you learn how your symptoms change, and as you experiment with the magnetic treatment, you will know better when, where and how frequently to use the magnets. It puts you back in the driving seat.

    It's a Portable and Flexible Treatment: - Mostly the bio magnetic devices can go where you go. They are convenient to use. So you can take them shopping, to work and on holiday. If you have regular treatment in a clinic (i.e. acupuncture, physiotherapy or osteopathic), you may wish to use the magnets between visits to maintain the benefits.                                                                                                                                                              
  • Magnetic Products For Back Pain

    The Back Wrap…
    The Back Wrap is an excellent product and a good initial strategy for many types of chronic low back pain. The Back Wrap offers lumbar support, comfort and magnetic therapy all at once. It can be used at home, at work, or whilst participating in sports activities. It is made of light neoprene material, and has 16 north facing magnets of 500 Gauss each. The wrap is 44inches long and 7 inches wide, one-size-fits-all with Velcro fastening. The Back Wrap can be worn for extended periods at a time, even at night. See below for other ways of using the Back Wrap. ....Visit our online shop for further details of this product.

    The Therapy Block Magnets…
    The Therapy Blocks are large ceramic block magnets that have a magnetic strength of 1200 Gauss. The therapy blocks are very versatile, and in addition to low back pain, they can be used on most other parts of the body to help relieve pain. The large size of these magnets allows a deep penetration of magnetic energy, and treatment sessions are normally about 30 minutes, a maximum of about two hours is recommended in a 24-hour period. The 4 x 2 inch block is recommended because the size and weight of the magnet make it versatile and convenient to use. The north facing side of the magnetic is colour coded Blue, the south facing side is colour coded red. The north facing blue side is normally placed against the body to achieve the pain relieving affect. ....Visit our online shop for further details of this product.

    High Strength Neodymium…
    Neodymiums are rare earth magnets that retain a high strength magnetic field. Our examples are rated at 3600 Gauss and are available in round and rectangular forms. The north side is colour coded green; the south side is coded red. Because of the magnets small handy size, it can be taped onto the part of the body that needs the pain relief, and left in place for extended periods of time. Initially we recommend a maximum of two hours in a 24-hour period. Although the Neodymium has a stronger Gauss rating than the Therapy Block Magnet, it does not penetrate as deep because of its smaller size. The Neodymium is suitable for small-localised areas of pain on the upper or lower back, or on other parts of the body such as the shoulder, neck, behind the knee and on the arms

    Dot Neodymium Magnets…
    The Gold Neodymium Dot magnets are ¼ inch in diameter and are 6000 - 9000 Gauss. They are attached in the same way as a plaster, are used singularly or in batches. They are often used on body areas where larger magnets are difficult to fit. They can be used almost anywhere on the body. The Dots are also used on acupuncture points as an alternative to acupuncture needles. The magnets are permanent and can be used over and over again. They can be left in place for days at a time. When the adhesives eventually run out, you may replace with surgical tape (available from the chemist). The North Pole faces the skin. ....Visit our online shop for further details of this product.
  • Pain Management Strategies and Techniques Using Magnets

    Chronic Low Back Pain – A good initial strategy for many types of chronic low back pain is the Back Wrap. The magnets in the wrap cover a good size area over the lower back and so gently and gradually help ease any general aches. It should also help with early morning stiffness. This Back Wrap can be worn for long periods and even at night. As an alternative to the Back Wrap, the Therapy Block can be used to help alleviate back pain. Use the blue north facing side to the skin for short intensive treatments. Start out with 30-minute treatment sessions with a maximum overall use of two hours in any 24-hour period. If you back pain is particularly severe you may need to use the boosting techniques discussed in the acute flare- up section below.

    Acute Flare-ups – Increasing the magnetic strength of your treatment can help painful acute episodes. If you are using the Back Wrap you can actually place the round Neodymium inside the Wrap at the location where the pain is the most severe. This will boost the magnetic therapy at that location. The Neodymium should attach itself to the other magnets on the Back Wrap; the north facing green side of the Neodymium should face the skin. Alternatively you can use the Therapy Block Magnet with its deeper penetration to help reduce the flare-up.

    Sciatic Type Pain – As sciatic pain often originates from the spinal region, combining a lower back treatment using the Back Wrap or Therapy Block magnet, with a magnetic treatment located at the other sites of pain, for example at the back or side of the leg, can be beneficial. Again north facing magnets are recommended.

    Spinal Disc Problems – Place a magnet, like the round Neodymium, to the side of the painful area on the spine. Sometimes experimentation is required to find the best location of the magnet for maximum pain relief, it can be above to the side or below. An alternative approach is to use the Dot Neodymium's either side of the problem area; several dot magnets can be used to cover the area.
     
  • Other Pain Management Tips and Techniques

    Take Breaks From Treatment - It is a good idea to take breaks from the bio magnetic treatment. This stops the body from building up a resistance to the magnets. After a few weeks of treatment have a break for a few days to see what the difference is, and then restart. Experiment.

    Stress and Anxiety - Associated with severe or long-term pain, there can often be anxiety and stress. This in itself contributes further to the pain and distress of the individual, and so starts a viscous cycle. The cycle needs to be broken. One way of doing this is combining a relaxation technique with the bio magnetic therapy. An example of this is to find a comfortable position lying down or sitting, playing some relaxing music, or your favourite relaxation technique tape, and applying the bio magnetic therapy. At the beginning of the relaxation session you can add in a gentle breathing exercise, breath in slowly for a count of five, then breath out for a count of five, do this for five or ten minutes, do not hold your breath. Twenty to thirty minutes is a good overall session time. Repeating this exercise daily is the key to success.

    How long does it Take For the Magnets to Work? – With some people results are very rapid, literally within minutes, in others it may take a couple of weeks. We are all individuals with different strengths and weaknesses. The severity of the complaint also varies from person to person. Some people may have had a back problem for six months others 25 years. The way we respond will be different.

    Plan Ahead for Those Possible Flare-ups - If you know the types of activities that can trigger a back pain episode, then maybe you can plan ahead to reduce the worse effects of the episode. It could be shopping, a spell in the garden, walking, a sporting event or driving the car. One technique for this is to give your-self additional magnetic therapy before the event. This may involve wearing the Back Wrap (if you have not been using it recently), or using the Therapy Block. This treatment can be carried out even if you have no pain, as the magnets will help prepare and condition the back for the extra demand placed on it. This technique is used by some sportsmen who use magnets as a type of additional warm-up before the sporting event.

    Use Different Magnet Combinations as part of Your Strategy - As discussed previously, different magnetic products can be used separately or in combination depending on the circumstances.

    Experimentation - As mentioned above we are all individuals with different characteristics and back pain problems. Responses to bio magnetic therapy can therefore vary. A degree of experimentation may be required to find out how much therapy we may need, the best location of the magnets, the frequency of treatment and best combination of magnets. Although it is always best to start simple.

    Whole Body Treatments - One such approach is sleeping on a magnetic mattress and pillow. A large area of the body will then receiving magnetic therapy while you sleep. Drinking magnetised water is another way of treating the whole body.




Orb ARTICLE 2. Sports Injuries - The use of Magnets for Sports Injuries
  • One-minute summary
    Magnets for healing injuries have been used in the international sports world for many years. They are a non-drug approach to pain relief. They can improve injury recovery time, and can even be used as a technique to aid warm-up. This article discusses how magnets work on the body, the different magnet products available for sporting injuries, and the different strategies that can be employed for using them. It also gives suggestions on the use of magnets for general enhancement of well-being and vitality.
  • Introduction
    Sports medicine is an area where many kinds of injuries have to be treated and healed as quickly as possible. Magnets are becoming more widely used and accepted as an additional therapeutic medium to aid the sports person towards a faster recovery. The increasing acceptance of bio magnetic therapy is based on two main factors.The first is the increasing scientific research conducted on the various healing properties of magnets. The second factor is the sheer weight of anecdotal evidence. In fact most people find their way to magnetic healing via the good reports from friends and family.
  • Miraculous Results
    Doctor P. Orengo a French orthopedic surgeon, knee specialist, and one of the pioneers of clinical magnet therapy {1} talks about his first attempts at using magnets to treat sprains: “The first few times I was literally amazed. I remember exchanging looks with a patient, both of us incredulous. I was almost embarrassed at how quickly the initial results were obtained. When I obtained the same results with other patients on a systematic basis, I became seriously involved in furthering my understanding of this type of therapy.”
  • How they work
    Most of the research conducted in using magnets for healing has been done in the area of sprains and repetitive strain injury. Conclusive studies have been conducted in France by a team of doctors on the use of magnets to treat sprains. Doctor Egoummenides researched the use of magnets on sprains. C. Rollet, physiotherapist, studied tennis elbow. Doctor J. Blanchard experimented with tendonitis. Doctor Masson did his research on back sprains. All of these studies provided extremely positive results. Much research has been conducted in Russia, various eastern block countries and Japan, but unfortunately not much has been translated.

    Scientists are only just beginning to discover how magnetism heals and specific physiological effects have been documented. Applying magnets to the body increases blood circulation and therefore increases the nutrient carrying potential of the blood.
    Magnets also importantly have an anti-inflammatory effect. Research shows that placing a magnet next to the skin will result in enduring vasoconstriction, constriction of the blood vessels, whereas inflammation causes the opposite effect, vasodilatation, i.e. dilation of the blood vessels. This is a possible explanation of one of the positive effects of magnetic healing.

    It helps ph balance (acid-alkaline) often imbalanced in diseased or injured tissues. Magnets can also help heal nerves and tissues by speeding up the migration of calcium ions. In the parts of the body where healing takes place an increase in negative electrical potential can always be observed. Some researchers believe this indicates that the north pole, which carries a negative charge, is implicated in the process of healing, although this has not been conclusively proved.
  • Advantages of Using Magnets for Sports Injuries
    - Effective pain control.
    - Faster recovery times.
    - No Drugs Involved: it is a no drug approach, therefore no drug side effects.
    - Treat your self between therapeutic sessions: A person may be receiving other therapeutic help such as physiotherapy or acupuncture. The advantage of using magnets is that the healing can go on between visits. Healing can be more frequent and result in a faster recovery.
    - Its safe. There are no side effects, the magnets use a natural healing force.
    - Minimal expert advice is required to use them.
    - Magnets are relatively inexpensive. An item is bought only once because it is re-useable
  • Examples of Typical Users
    - American Football League: The use of magnets in the sporting world is not a new groundbreaking discovery. The American Football League needed effective pain relief and accelerated healing time from injuries. They found that magnets work and use magnetic products on their footballers as standard treatment.
    - Russian Athletes: Magnetic healing of sports injuries is not the only possible use of magnets. They could be used as a warm up before sports participation or a cool down after a training or workout session.
    - Golfer, tennis, squash and badminton players Wrist wraps and bracelets are used to provide support and magnetic healing force to the wrist and arm.
    - Joggers, runners. Magnetic insoles are used to provide magnetic stimulation to the soles of the feet. The feet and legs have been called ‘the second heart’. Runners find the insoles help with improved circulation to the area that takes the most pounding in their sport.
    - Skiers. Knee wraps are commonly used on the slopes to provide extra support and therapy to weak or injured knees.
    - Horse Racing: For those who believe that magnetic healing is ‘all in the mind’ should take note of the extensive use of magnetic healing therapy in the arena of horse racing and show jumping. Magnetic horse blankets, magnetic body wraps and magnetic hoof cuffs are used on horses frequently for fast recovery from injury and exertion.
     
  • Types of Magnetic Products Used in Sports Activities and Injuries
    There are many ways that magnets can be used in sports activity and a wide variety of possible products and combinations of use. There are body wraps, therapy block magnets, high strength neodymium rare earth magnets, gold spot magnets and whole body treatments such as sleeping on a magnetic mattress cover or drinking magnetized water.

    - Magnetic Body Wraps
    Body wraps are popular with sports people. They provide magnetic healing and give support at the same time. The magnets are sewn into the wrap and carefully positioned for maximum effect. They are made of lightweight neoprene material and are fully adjustable. One size fits all with a velcro fastening.

    - Golf and Tennis Elbow wrap
    The golf and tennis elbow wrap is the perfect wrap for pain on the inside or outside of the elbow. This wrap is especially useful at providing support as well as magnetic therapy. This is important where there is a site of injury or repetitive strain and the elbows are needed for support such as in skiing or a good strong swing is needed as in a racket sport or golf.

    - Full elbow wrap
    This wrap gives support over a larger area, above and below the elbow as well as the actual elbow joint itself.

    - Knee wraps
    Knee pain is a very common problem in many sports such as football, hockey, tennis, golf or cycling. Torn tendons and ligaments, joint pain, hamstring tears and wear and tear of the joint can interfere with participation in an active sport. The knee wrap is an excellent product, as it feels good to wear as well as providing magnetic healing in key areas of pain and sites of injury.

    - Wrist wrap
    Many sports people have wrist injuries or repetitive wrist strain. This wrap has magnets that can be adjusted and placed on the painful spots. It also gives wonderful support to the wrist and feels comfortable and supportive to wear.

    - The Back Wrap
    Back wraps are recommended for low back sprains, muscle pulls, muscle stiffness, disc herniation, disc degeneration with pain and sciatic type pain which often originates from the lumbar vertebrae.
    The back wraps are perfect for sports as they can be comfortably worn offering support and magnet therapy simultaneously.

    The wraps can be used before or after activity in sports.
    For maximum magnet power a wrap could be worn with a therapy block inserted inside the wrap and over a specific area of pain for half hour sessions.

    - High Strength neodymium magnets
    These are handy magnets that are rare earth magnets and retain a high strength magnetic field. They are small and are a neat size that can be taped onto the body over the area of pain or injury.

    - Therapy blocks
    These powerful 1200 gauss magnets are big and can be used on a larger area of the body where a deeper penetration of magnetic force is necessary. They are helpful for lower back strains, shoulder injuries, knee pain, hamstring injuries, thigh pain or ankle injuries. They are designed for shorter periods of use and can simply be rested on the site of injury. The block can be placed under the body whilst lying down. The therapy block could also be placed under the knee, thigh, buttock, upper or lower back, below or on top of the shoulder for 20 minutes at a time.

    - Magnetic Insoles
    The insoles are designed to access acupressure and reflexology points on the soles of the feet via the specifically placed magnets contained within the insole.
    The insoles are a great bonus for any sportsperson. They can be easily fitted into trainers and can improve circulation and reduce aches and pains from tired feet and legs.
     
  • Spot Magnets, a versatile magnetic treatment
    The Gold spot magnets are especially designed to be used therapeutically almost anywhere on the body. Their unique advantage is they are very small, 5ml in diameter and 1ml thick. Typical strength vary from 800 to 9000 gauss, the higher strength are more effective. Spot magnets are gold plated and coated again to prevent oxidation and skin reactions.

    The magnets are equipped with a porous, hypoallergenic adhesive so they can be easily attached to the skin. They are showerproof but when the adhesive eventually runs out they can be replaced.

    Because of their small size, these magnets can easily be used on all parts of the body, discreetly and with no physical discomfort. They can even be attached to the soles of the feet without inhibiting walking.

    They are perfectly designed for a variety of sports injuries and are best used in batches. They are excellent for sprains and can be attached directly to swollen joints.
    The areas to be treated are best determined by gently massaging the injured area and surrounding skin. It is important to place the magnets on all of the painful points.
     
  • Specific sports injuries that could be helped using spot magnets
    - Wrist sprains
    Residual pain is generally intense. Pain can be alleviated by applying the spot magnets under a support bandage or simply left in place with just the adhesive small plasters.

    - Thumb Sprains
    These are common in rugby, football or martial arts. Pain could be alleviated and healing could be speeded up by applying 3 or 4 spot magnets over the injured joint.
    Shoulder Sprains and pain
    Gently massage and probe carefully to find painful points and muscle stiffness. Apply an average of 5-10 spot magnets to the painful areas.

    - Tennis Elbow and Golfers Elbow
    An injury commonly occurring to tennis players and golf players. Spot magnets should be placed over the area of pain. The area of localized pain is the external side of the elbow with tennis elbow and the inner side of the elbow with golfers elbow.

    - Ankle Sprains
    One of the most common athletic injuries is an ankle sprain. Using spot magnets could get a person back on their feet faster than with conventional treatment. Also the effects of using biomagnetic therapy on a sprain should provide lasting relief.
    To obtain good results apply a cluster of spot magnets on all the painful spots.

 




Orb Magnetic Bracelets - can they help?

  • Balanced View: Our Personal Opinion: From our point of view a balanced view is an inclusive approach, this means taking into account evidence and opinions from a wide variety of sources, such as western medical research, anecdotal reports and complementary and alternative health understanding.

    Research: In response to a large number of people with arthritis reporting pain relief from using a magnetic bracelet, the Arthritis Research Council decided to fund a "Randomised controlled trial of magnetic bracelets for relieving pain in osteoarthritis of hip and knee." The BMJ published an article 18 December 2004 with reference to this trial. The outcome of this trial was widely reported in the press at the time.

    What this Study Adds: The research indicated encouraging results. Bracelets with static magnets decrease the pain from osteoarthritis of the hip and knee, over and above the effects of placebo.

    Anecdotal Evidence: Large amounts of positive anecdotal evidence from users of magnetic bracelets and magnetic therapy around the world should in our view not be ignored.

    Magnetic Bracelets can give Pain Relief to Many Areas of the Body: As indicated in the research above and anecdotal evidence, our personal opinion is that magnetic bracelets can help alleviate pain not only in the wrist area, but in many other areas of the body including knees, hip and other joints. This view point is not accepted by all medical scientists.

    How do they Work? Although not fully understood, a common theory to explain how magnetic bracelets work is the ionising effect of the magnets on blood flowing through the wrist arteries, the improved blood quality flows throughout the body with resultant healing effects. There are also other theories, some based on complementary health theories.

    Further research: More research is needed to confirm the initial findings and determine other key variables such as the importance of magnetic strength, size and position.

    Disclaimer: We make no specific medical claims. It is always best to seek professional medical advice on an individual basis for your particular circumstances.

    The Actual Research: Below is a detailed copy of the research paper published by the BMJ on 18th December 2004.

  • Move from Theory to Practice: For those interested in trying magnetic bracelets to possibly help alleviate a pain related condition or for general health, our sister site Magnets4health provides a wide range of reasonable priced magnetic bracelets.

Magnetic Therapy Research

  • BMJ 2004;329:1450-1454 (18 December), doi:10.1136/bmj.329.7480.1450

    Randomised controlled trial of magnetic bracelets for relieving pain in osteoarthritis of the hip and knee

    Tim Harlow, general practitioner1, Colin Greaves, research fellow2, Adrian White, senior research fellow3, Liz Brown, research assistant4, Anna Hart, statistician5, Edzard Ernst, professor of complementary medicine4

    1 College Surgery, Cullompton, Devon EX15 1TG, 2 Peninsula Medical School (Primary Care), Exeter EX2 5DW, 3 Peninsula Medical School, Tamar Science Park, Plymouth PL6 8BX, 4 Peninsula Medical School (Complementary Medicine), Exeter EX2 4NT, 5 Lancashire School of Health and Postgraduate Medicine, University of Central Lancashire, Preston PR1 2HE
    Correspondence to: T Harlow, Hospiscare, Dryden Road, Exeter EX2 5JJ timharlow@eclipse.co.uk

    Objective To determine the effectiveness of commercially available magnetic bracelets for pain control in osteoarthritis of the hip and knee.

    Design Randomised, placebo controlled trial with three parallel groups.

    Setting Five rural general practices.

    Participants 194 men and women aged 45-80 years with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee.

    Intervention Wearing a standard strength static bipolar magnetic bracelet, a weak magnetic bracelet, or a non-magnetic (dummy) bracelet for 12 weeks.

    Main outcome measures Change in the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities osteoarthritis lower limb pain scale (WOMAC A) after 12 weeks, with the primary comparison between the standard and dummy groups. Secondary outcomes included changes in WOMAC B and C scales and a visual analogue scale for pain.

    Results Mean pain scores were reduced more in the standard magnet group than in the dummy group (mean difference 1.3 points, 95% confidence interval 0.05 to 2.55). Self reported blinding status did not affect the results. The scores for secondary outcome measures were consistent with the WOMAC A scores.

    Conclusion Pain from osteoarthritis of the hip and knee decreases when wearing magnetic bracelets. It is uncertain whether this response is due to specific or non-specific (placebo) effects.

    Manufacturers of permanent static magnet devices claim that they reduce pain in various conditions, including osteoarthritis.1 Worldwide sales were estimated at $5bn (£2.6bn, 3.8bn) in 1999.2 Osteoarthritis affects around 760 000 people in the United Kingdom, producing an estimated 3.02 million general practice consultations in 2000.3 If magnets were effective they would offer a cheap and probably safe treatment option.

    Some studies of permanent static magnets have found significant pain reduction2 4-9 whereas others reported no effect.10-12 Major differences exist in the type and strength of magnets used, the conditions treated, and treatment times. There are also methodological concerns about small sample size and difficulties in maintaining blinding.2 We therefore aimed to conduct an adequately powered trial testing the hypothesis that magnetic bracelets, as used in the consumer market, reduce pain in osteoarthritis of the hip and knee.

    Participants and methods
    Between December 2001 and December 2003, we recruited 194 participants aged 45-80 years with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee from five rural general practices in Mid Devon (see bmj.com). Osteoarthritis was diagnosed by a consultant (orthopaedic surgeon or rheumatologist) or a general practitioner, and we sought confirmatory radiological evidence for participants who had none recorded in their general practice notes. Participants had to score 8-20 points on the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities osteoarthritis index (WOMAC A) on entry.13 14 We excluded people with a cardiac pacemaker, current magnetic bracelet, surgery to the index joint (excluding arthroscopy), or haemophilia and women who were pregnant or breast feeding.

    Recruitment was by referral from doctors, advertising, or invitation after a search of practice records. Trial nurses arranged radiological confirmation of diagnosis if needed, and they collected data in surgery based clinics at 0, 4, and 12 weeks. Participants were given a full strength bracelet at the end of the trial.

    Intervention and randomisation
    The participants, trial nurse, and healthcare providers, were blinded to treatment allocation. Treatments consisted of identical looking bracelets containing three different components. The manufacturer's specifications were:

    Group A?Standard neodymium magnets set in a steel backing cup, with the open side facing the ventral wrist, creating a fluctuating magnetic pattern across the bracelet (fig 1). The field strength at the wrist contact surface was 170-200 mTesla.

    Group B?Weak magnets with no backing plate. The field was strong enough to seem magnetic on testing (21-30 mTesla), but previous research suggests this is insufficient to be therapeutic.15 This was intended to provide an undetectable placebo.

    Group C?Non-magnetic steel washers.

    The National Physical Laboratory tested five bracelets of each type before the study, confirming the manufacturer's specification.

    An independent researcher randomised participants in blocks of 15 (five of each bracelet type per block), using random numbers generated in Microsoft Excel. A decode sheet was sealed and locked away. A second researcher checked the procedure. On enrolment, participants were told that they would receive either an active or an inactive bracelet.

    Outcome measures
    The predefined primary outcome measure was change in WOMAC A score after 12 weeks' follow up.13 14 Secondary outcomes were a visual analogue scale asking, "How bad was the pain from your arthritis in the last week when it was at its worst?" with verbal and numerical anchors from none (0) to worst imaginable (100) 16; WOMAC B and C scores, measuring leg stiffness and functioning13 14; the number of days participants had used analgesics in the past week; and perceived monetary value of the bracelet.

    We assessed compliance with wearing the bracelet at 4 and 12 weeks using a visual analogue scale. Blinding was assessed at 12 weeks by asking whether participants thought they had an active bracelet and the reason for such belief.

    The estimated effect size was based on a 20% differential reduction in WOMAC A score, which was considered commensurate with effect sizes in studies of analgesics and osteoarthritis.13 17 A sample size of 52 in each of the groups would have 80% power to detect a difference in one way analysis of variance of change scores, assuming mean changes of 3, 1.5, and 1 and a common standard deviation of 3.4. Assuming 15% dropout, we planned to recruit 64 subjects to each group.18 We checked the suitability of these numbers for an analysis of variance across the three groups by using a range of estimated small average changes for the weak magnet group.

    Analysis
    The analysis was specified in advance of the study as follows. Last value carried forward was used to impute missing values for subsequent visits. The blinded statistician conducted analysis of variance on all three groups using SPSS version 11.5, with change in WOMAC A score at 12 weeks as the response. The robustness of the results was checked with analysis of covariance on the WOMAC A score at 12 weeks with baseline WOMAC A as covariate, and checking sensitivity to baseline imbalances. Dunnett's test was then used to compare the means for the dummy and weak magnet group separately with the mean for the standard magnet group. The protocol specified that the primary comparison was dummy versus standard magnets, the other comparison being secondary, unless a high degree of unblinding was observed. Models were checked by examination of residuals and sensitivity to imputed values.

    Subsequent analyses were unblinded. We used general linear models on all subjects to explore the association between outcomes and magnetic strength of individual bracelets. Similar analyses were then carried out, where appropriate, for WOMAC B and C and the global pain score.

    Results
    Response rates and sample properties
    Of the 391 people assessed for eligibility, 144 did not satisfy the inclusion criteria and 194 (78.5%) of the remaining 247 accepted entry into the trial (see bmj.com). Group baseline characteristics were similar (table 1). Very few participants were lost to follow up. These were evenly spread across the three groups, and their baseline WOMAC A scores were not markedly different from those of participants with complete data. Reported compliance was high, with most wearing the bracelets for 100% of waking hours.

    After the trial, we tested all the returned bracelets using a calibrated Hall effect probe. This showed that the standard magnets had a mean strength of 186 (range 134-197) mTesla (only one was outside the specified range) and the non-magnetic group all had zero strength. Because of a manufacturing error, only 28 of the weak magnets were within the specified range (21-30 mTesla). The mean for these 28 magnets was 26 mTesla; 34 magnets had a strength of 69-196 (mean 128) mTesla, and two were not returned (these were assumed to be in the specified range as they were part of a good batch).

    Analysis of outcomes
    Table 2 shows the scores for the three groups at baseline and after 4 and 12 weeks. Analysis of variance between the three groups on the change in WOMAC A from baseline to 12 weeks showed a difference that was just non-significant (F = 2.90, df = 2, 190; P = 0.057). Results from analysis of covariance on the score at 12 weeks (with baseline WOMAC A score entered as a covariate) were significant (F = 3.24, df = 2, 189; P = 0.041).

    The planned comparison (Dunnett's test) showed a significant mean difference in change in WOMAC A score of 1.3 between the standard and dummy magnet groups (95% confidence interval 0.09 to 2.60; P = 0.03), but not between the standard and weak groups (mean difference 0.81, -0.44 to 2.07; P = 0.26). A similar pattern was observed for the change in WOMAC C score. The overall analysis of variance gave significant results (F = 4.45, df = 2, 190; P = 0.013), and Dunnett's test showed a significant mean difference between the standard and dummy groups (4.4, 95% confidence interval 1.0 to 7.9; P = 0.01) but not between the standard and weak groups (3.3, -0.2 to 6.7; P = 0.07). Analysis of the visual analogue pain score showed a significant mean difference between the standard and dummy groups of 11.4 (95% confidence interval 3.0 to 19.8). Change in WOMAC B scores did not differ between groups (F = 0.73, df = 2, 190; P = 0.48). No important differences in these results emerged when either sex or analgesic use (at 12 weeks) was included as a covariate.

    Table 3 provides data on participants' beliefs about group allocation and the reasons given for their beliefs. Around a third of participants in the standard and dummy groups were correct in their beliefs about their bracelet, although the reasons differed between groups. In the standard group beliefs were mainly based on noticing the magnetic force?for example, bracelets were often reported to stick to keys in pockets?or on improved symptoms. In the dummy group, few noticed the magnetic force and beliefs were most commonly based on a lack of symptom improvement.

    Comparing the outcomes for the different belief groups is not appropriate because belief may follow benefit or lack of it, and any differences would therefore be hard to interpret.19 However, we have a more direct way of estimating the effect of unblinding, as participants reported whether they had noticed the magnetic strength of their bracelets (table 3). The overall pattern of results was replicated in the subgroup of 97 participants (41 (63%) in standard group v 56 (88%) in dummy group) who did not report noticing or testing the magnetic strength of their bracelets at week 12. Results from analysis of covariance estimated the mean difference in WOMAC A between the standard and dummy groups as 1.3 (95% confidence interval 0.003 to 2.62).

    To examine the impact of the contamination of the weak magnets on the trial, we analysed data from only the bracelets that met the defined specification (30 weak magnets, 64 dummy magnets, and 64 standard magnets). Analysis of variance showed a significant difference for change in WOMAC A score (F = 3.73, df = 2, 155; P = 0.026). The post-hoc Dunnett's test showed a significant difference between real and dummy magnets (mean difference 1.39, 95% confidence interval 0.11 to 2.68), and a non-significant difference between real and weak magnets, although there was a strong numerical trend (mean difference 1.52, -0.09 to 3.13, P = 0.067).

    Table 4 gives data on individual responses to treatments categorised according to predefined criteria for improvement.17 20 Participants' estimate of the monetary worth of the bracelet did not differ significantly. Adverse reactions were rare, with two participants in each group reporting dizziness, increased pain, or stiffness.

    Discussion
    We found evidence of a beneficial effect of magnetic wrist bracelets on the pain of osteoarthritis of the hip and knee. Self reported unblinding to treatment group did not substantially affect the results. Although there were problems with the weak magnets, a per-specification analysis suggested (but could not confirm) a specific effect of magnetic bracelets over and above placebo. Other reasons for suspecting a specific effect are that the data on belief show a low level of unblinding in the dummy group and the data on individual responses (table 4) show that more people achieve high levels of improvement in the standard magnet group. The results for two of the secondary outcome measures (WOMAC C and visual analogue pain scores) were consistent with this pattern. No change was seen in WOMAC B score, but this measure has been found to lack sensitivity.18

    The findings are consistent with previous studies on magnetic therapies and pain. Studies that have failed to show an effect on pain10 12 generally used weaker magnets (19 to 50 mTesla). Studies that have shown an effect used stronger magnets (47 to 180 mTesla), which were comparable with our standard strength magnets.2 4-8 Together these findings suggest that field strength is important.

    Is the effect real?
    Our study has not entirely resolved the extent to which the effect of magnetic bracelets is specific or due to placebo. Blinding did not affect the pattern of results, but the validity of the self reporting of blinding status could be questioned. Although the analysis of per-specification bracelets also suggests a specific effect, the result is only a trend and needs confirmation. Therefore, we cannot be certain whether our data show a specific effect of magnets, a placebo effect, or both.

    Whatever the mechanism, the benefit from magnetic bracelets seems clinically useful. The mean reduction in WOMAC A scores in the intervention group of 2.9 (27% change from baseline score) and the difference above placebo (1.3 points) is similar to that found in trials of frontline osteoarthritis treatments, including non-steroidal topical creams,21 oral nonsteroidal drugs (including cyclo-oxygenase 2 inhibitors),17 and exercise therapy.22 In a pivotal trial of cyclooxygenase 2 inhibitors17 in osteoarthritic patients with similar baseline pain (mean WOMAC A score 10.7) and the same follow up period (12 weeks), the treatment effects (change above placebo) were 0.8, 1.5, and 1.9 points for the three doses studied. The difference we found in physical function scores (WOMAC C) also compares well with the above trials.
    Furthermore, the effects seem additive to those of the participants' usual treatment. The (one off) cost of bracelets (around £30-£50 ($58-$96, 43- 92)), compares well with that of analgesics (paracetamol £20 a year, newer non-steroidal anti-inflammatories £250 a year).23 Larger investigations should now test the safety of magnets relative to the well known risks of analgesics.17 23 24

    The low refusal rate favours generalisability of our findings. However, the sample selected was predominantly white with a minimum WOMAC A score of 8. Our results may thus not translate to other ethnic populations or people with milder osteoarthritis. Further work is needed to replicate our findings and determine whether the effect extends beyond 12 weeks. The contamination of group B with stronger magnets prevented a more objective estimation of any-placebo effect. However, our design seems in principle a feasible way to allow for placebo effects in future studies.
    A chart showing flow of participants is on bmj.com

    We thank the Mid Devon general practices involved in the study and the research nurses. Mid Devon Primary Care Research Group provided support and advice throughout the study.

    Contributors: TH had the original idea, led the writing, participated in planning, and was responsible for the overall management of study. CG and AW participated in planning and design, management of study (via steering group), and writing the manuscript. LB implemented the randomisation procedure and contributed to planning and design and writing the manuscript. AH took part in planning and design, analysis and interpretation, and writing the manuscript. EE participated in planning and design, management of study (via steering group), and writing. Mike Dixon took part in planning, design, and recruitment, and commented on the manuscript. Judith Mathie and Chris Rushton participated in management of study (via steering group), data collection, and coordination of trial nurses. Mark Taylor suggested the use of weak bracelets. All authors approved the final manuscript. EE is guarantor.

    Funding: Arthritis Research Campaign.

    Competing interests: None declared.

    Ethical approval: North and East Devon local research ethics committee and West Somerset local ethics research committee.

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