Static magnets are widely marketed to the public with claims of effectiveness for relieving pain. One survey suggests that about 28 percent of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or fibromyalgia, use magnets or copper bracelets for pain relief.
Do static magnets help reduce pain?
In this issue of CMAJ, Dr. Max H. Pittler and colleagues present the results of their meta-analysis of 9 randomized trials, all of which used a visual analogue scale to assess the difference between static magnets and placebo.
The researchers found no effect of magnets on pain scores and conclude that the evidence does not support the use of static magnets for pain relief and, therefore, magnets cannot be recommended as an effective treatment.
However, the authors found that further investigation is needed into a possible benefit to people suffering from osteoarthritis.