Magnetic bracelets have been touted for years as a way to get relief from arthritis and other painful conditions. Scientists have largely been skeptical and called the bracelets a waste of money and studies have shown mixed results and been criticized for their methodologies. People spent some $5 billion on them in 1999, So a group of British researchers decided to put these bracelets to the test.
Researchers wanted to know do the commercially available magnetic bracelets help relieve pain from arthritis of the hip and knee?
So over the space of two years, British researchers found 194 people between the ages of 45 and 80 who suffered from medically documented osteoarthritis of the knee and hip. (They excluded people who already used magnetic jewelry in an attempt to beat their pain.)
Scientists divided the people into three groups: Some got a bracelet with magnets set in a way to cause a standard-strength magnetic field across the wrist, some got bracelets with very weak magnets, and another group got bracelets with nonmagnetic steel washers. Participants didn't know what kind of bracelet they were getting. Using a standardized pain scoring system, they rated their symptoms both before and after wearing the bracelets. Patients continued their usual pain management treatment during the experiment, so any effects from the magnets would be additional.
The results were there were few adverse effects, so if you're troubled by arthritis pain and have an extra $60 to $100 (no need to spend more), a magnetic bracelet may be worth a shot. Make sure the field is between 170 and 200 m Tesla in strength, since that's the level that produced results in this experiment.
The strong magnets helped. The average pain scores were 1.3 points lower in the group with the standard magnetic bracelets than the dummy bracelets. Results for the weakly magnetic bracelets were about the same as the dummy ones.