Magnets for migraine?

So what about using magnets for migraine – or any kind of pain for that matter?  Do they work?  Is it worth the money?

The answer is… maybe.  But probably not.  At least, that’s what the research is telling us so far.

From what I’ve seen, there’s no compelling scientific research that magnets – the small kind of normal magnets that you can buy – can reduce pain.  On the other hand, the research itself is rather scanty.  The problem is that there are so many different kinds of magnets, and different parts of your body to use them all, that it would take a lot of scientific study to cover all that ground.

In fact, in some places (such as the USA), it’s illegal to claim that a magnet will relieve pain.  So if you see a company offering you magnetic pain relief in exchange for your credit card number, you should be suspicious anyway.

In the end, a few people have claimed that the magnets helped, and that’s all we have to go on.

For migraine, proponents suggest a magnetic necklace, or a magnet placed on the point of pain.  Or magnets on certain points of the body, such as back, feet, and head.

That being said, there is more scientific research being done with the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator (TMS).  This device is used on the brain to solve neurological problems such as migraine and parkinsons disease.  It’s looking hopeful that the TMS may provide real help to migraine sufferers.

Thanks to Dr Brent Bauer, Director of the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program at the Mayo Clinic for some of this information.

Magnet for migraine ?

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2 comments… add one

  • PamC Nov 5, 2007

    TMS is coming to Swedish Hospital in Seattle. I may be getting in on that.

  • James Nov 6, 2007

    That’s great! Let us know what happens! :)

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