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Review: evidence does not support use of static magnets for pain

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M H Pittler

Dr M H Pittler, Peninsula Medical School, Exeter, UK;


Are static magnets effective treatment for pain?


Data sources:

Medline, CINAHL, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Allied and Complementary Medicine Database, Scopus, Cochrane Library, and UK National Research Register (to March 2007); conference proceedings (1996–2006) and selected journals (1994–2006) on alternative and complementary medicine; reference lists; and the authors’ collections of articles.

Study selection and assessment:

randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared static (permanent) magnets with placebo or a device with weak magnetic field strength for treatment of pain related to any condition. 25 RCTs (n = 1582, range of mean ages 19–65 y) met the selection criteria. 4 RCTs involved patients with joint pain from osteoarthritis, and 3 RCTs each involved patients with low-back pain, delayed-onset muscle …

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  • Source of funding: not stated.