Does Magnet Therapy Help Backs?
The study compared a therapeutic bipolar permanent magnet with a placebo device on 20 patients with chronic low back pain. Researchers say they questioned patients about their pain and charted the results to compare with formal measurements of patients' range-of-motion of the lumbosacral spine. The study found no statistically significant difference between the patients wearing the placebos and those wearing real magnets.
Some 85 percent of Americans will have back pain during their lifetimes, and more than 5 million Americans are disabled by it. The cost of treating it is $15 billion per year; and about 75 percent of those who see a doctor still have pain one year later.
The authors write that more study is needed using different magnets, such as unipolar and bipolar. They say this pilot project was not intended to prove or disprove the effectiveness of magnet therapy in general. Clinical trials on magnet therapy continue.
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