"The majority of patients in the study who received treatment with a magnet reported a significant decrease in pain, and most of the patients who were given a placebo, or inactive magnet, reported very little or no improvement," said principle investigator Dr. Carlos Vallbona.
He is a professor of family and community medicine and physical medicine and rehabilitation at Baylor and director of the Post-Polio Clinic at TIRR.
evaluated the magnet therapy in adults diagnosed with post-polio syndrome who were experiencing arthritic pain in the joints or had identifiable points of pain in their muscles.
"Seventy-six percent of the patients who had the active magnet reported a decrease in pain, but only 19 percent of the patients treated with a placebo felt an improvement," Vallbona
None of the patients reported any side effects from the treatment.
"We do not have a clear explanation for the significant and quick pain relief observed by the patients in our study," Vallbona
"It''''s possible that the magnetic energy affects the pain receptors in the joints or muscles or lowers the sensation of pain in the brain."
The Baylor-TIRR study consisted of one treatment per patient and did not evaluate how long the reported pain relief lasted.
said more research is needed to determine whether magnet therapy should be recommended as an alternative to the standard treatments for pain in post-polio patients, such as physical therapy, support braces, muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory drugs and other medication.