Physics Van 3-site Navigational Menu

Physics Van Navigational Menu

Q & A: magnet therapy

Learn more physics!

Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
Dear Sir: Magnet devices, magnetized subtances, and exposure to magnetic fields, are becoming very popular among people that are desperately looking for means, to aliviate their pain or trauma. I, myself experienced pain in my left toe as a result of an eccident and I could no moved it for a long time, until some one give a magnetized cream, that completely cured me and aliviated the pain. Do you have a theory about this phenomenon, or do you know some one that may give me answers; it is really a miricale to have this treatment available because, the regular Dr., gave pain pills,that did nothing, to make it better. Now I can move my toe and feel no pain. Thank you Clyde Velarde
- Clyde Velarde (age 58)
A:
Dear Clyde-

We don't know of any clinical studies that show that magnetic therapy has any effect. It's extremely hard to think of what physical/chemical mechanism could account for such effects. On the other hand, many ailments get better after a while, and whatever treatment you happen to have been using when that finally happens will seem to have worked. Also, many studies claim to see large 'placebo' effects, in which belief in a therapy either helps with reducing sensations of pain or even helps the mind mobilize the body to fight disease better. Common placebos are made of harmless inactive substances.

Mike W

(published on 10/22/2007)

Follow-up on this answer.