Of course you knew that, but a British Medical Journal review of several studies has just confirmed it, according to the BBC. Interestingly, the team also warns of the waste of money spent on expensive and unproven therapies like magnets – money better spent on therapies that actually work. Well said! And a lot of money is wasted this way - $1 billion worldwide, according to the article. Remember that the next time altie practitioners say they haven’t the money to do proper studies.
Of course, double-blind studies into magnet therapies are difficult to do because it is usually pretty easy for the patient to be able to tell if they have the magnet of the placebo: the placebo doesn’t attract key rings and other metal items. One study was able to get around this:
The team does refer to one study on the effects of carpal tunnel syndrome - a painful wrist condition - in which the magnets and the sham treatments were boxed so they could not be identified.
In this, they said, there was no statistical difference between patients with real and sham magnets, with both reporting an improvement in their condition.
Quackwatch agrees, quoting a study from the New York College of Podiatric Medicine and one from the VA Medical Center in Prescott, Arizona – both showing no difference between the real magnets and the sham. Quackwatch concludes:
There is no scientific basis to conclude that small, static magnets can relieve pain or influence the course of any disease. In fact, many of today's products produce no significant magnetic field at or beneath the skin's surface.
Even if it did, the human body is not especially magnetic. Well, unless you’re this guy.
And keep that MRI machine away from me too!