While some people report experiencing pain relief using magnet therapy, scientifically the results are too inconclusive to make big claims for it.
Chronic pain affects around one in 10 Australians. It’s not well understood, is often debilitating and can lead to depression, isolation and unemployment. If you suffer from it you’ll do almost anything to make it go away.
Which brings us to magnet therapy. If some of the claims are to be believed, the therapy offers a cure nothing short of miraculous.
Magnet therapy uses static magnets (not unlike fridge magnets, only more powerful). Products include magnetic bracelets and necklaces, mattress underlays, and supports for the back, wrist, knee and ankle.
But when CHOICE researched the science behind the claims it couldn’t find conclusive scientific evidence to support the therapy.
Some double-blind clinical trials found magnet therapy appeared to offer relief for some pain conditions. However, the studies can’t be easily compared and none of them appears to have been replicated. But for every study that showed positive results, we found a negative study just around the corner.
Finally CHOICE looked at what consumers had said in surveys about magnet products as a treatment for certain types of pain. It found their assessments were far from positive, with many other alternative treatments regarded as more effective.
The CHOICE bottom line? Based on the evidence so far, we’d recommend giving static magnet therapy a miss.
But if you still want to give it a try, protect the hip pocket area of your anatomy: try to buy a product with a money-back trial period, and don’t buy the most expensive in the range first.