It seems as though every single year some new type of therapy is being touted as the newest fix for your back problems. Whether it involves a new piece of technology, a new surgery or pain cream; these new treatments talk a good game but often can’t back them up with evidence. With this track record it should come as no surprise that back patients and physicians alike are skeptical of magnetic therapy.
The truth is that magnet therapy for back pain is not a new phenomenon but dates back hundreds of years, so it’s kind of resurfacing rather than a brand new form of pain therapy. Once you’ve been properly educated about pain magnets you’ll see that it is a viable form of pain management that you might want to consider.
Understanding Magnetic Therapy
Although we know that magnet therapy works for pain relief, the reasons have thus far been difficult to explain. But what we now know about how magnets work for pain is that metal contained in magnets contains energy that is believed to transform the way in which nerve cells function. It is believed that this energy promotes healing by stimulating the flow of healthy oxygen-rich blood.
So how does this particular therapy work for back pain? Quite simple actually because improper blood flow is a key factor in back pain, particularly muscle pain and nerve compression. By changing that energy and improving blood flow, blood gets pumping to the injured area providing better circulation and relaxing the muscles slightly.
Where’s The Proof?
Back pain sufferers are a notoriously skeptical group, having suffered through tons of ineffective forms of treatment. So the first thing they want to know is where is the proof to back up these claims about magnetic therapy? Many of the studies have proven effective but the control groups have been too small to be significant on a larger scale.
Nevertheless, a recently conducted study by the National Institute of Health (NIH) analyzed a group of back pain patients. Some of the patients were given magnetic therapy to treat their back pain and reported feeling relief from their pain. Obviously more studies are needed but that doesn’t mean that it can’t help.
Since magnetic therapy does not require ingestion there are few negative side effects to this type of treatment. Although, if you are using a defibrillator or pacemaker you should consult with your physicians before undergoing magnetic therapy.
Does Magnetic Therapy Work?
You’ve probably seen the infomercial ads touting the benefits of magnetic therapy through the use of shoe inserts, cuffs and bracelets and even magnetic necklaces. These accessories have been sold to balance energy levels rather than pain relief, but magnets have been used for pain relief for centuries. Although your favorite celebrity may endorse the use of magnets for a variety of health problems, there is still little evidence of its efficacy.
Anecdotally however, magnetic therapy has been shown to be adept at alleviating back pain. Many patients are willing to try this form of therapy because it is such a non-invasive treatment method that doesn’t require active participation. With that being said however, magnetic therapy should not be used as a main method of back pain management.
For most back pain sufferers treatment requires a multi-faceted plan that attacks the symptoms of back pain as well as the underlying cause of the pain. Primary back pain treatment may include physical therapy, exercise, massage therapy, muscle balance therapy and chiropractic medicine. Pain magnets should be part of a second line of defense, as it were, along with therapeutic pillows and ergonomic office equipment to keep pain at bay as you heal.
To learn more about additional treatment options for severe back pain, visit the treatments section of this website.
Or, feel free to go to the conditions section and find your condition to identify the treatments that are best for you.
Written By: Updated: November 3,2011