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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Magnetic Bracelets and their contribution to pain relief from Osteoarthritis

Can magnetic bracelets play a significant role in helping to reduce pain from Osteoarthritis?
There is a growing body of evidence to say yes.

Osteoarthritis – What Is It?

Osteoarthritis is a commonly described as the ‘wear and tear’ disease. It is a widespread degenerative disorder of joints characterized by loss of articular cartilage with thickening (sclerosis) of underlying bone. Some areas of bone may become porous with formation of bone ‘cysts’. Bony lumps can also form called osteophytes. Debilitating symptoms are varying degrees of pain, stiffness, discomfort, swelling around joints and restricted mobility. Most people over the age of 60 will present evidence of osteoarthritis via x rays. Approximately 15 per cent of the population have problems related to it. It is more common in women and is related to age, obesity, previous joint injury and previous joint deformity.

The UK Arthritis Research Council has a few interesting statistics

- More that 7 million adults in the UK have long-term health problems due to arthritis and related conditions.
- More than 2 million people visited their GP in the past year because of osteoarthritis.
- The number of people with osteoarthritis has risen over 10 years as the population ages and more people are seeking their GP’s help.
- At least 4.4 million people in the UK have x-ray evidence of moderate to severe osteoarthritis in their hands.
- At least 550,000 people in the UK have x-ray evidence of moderate to severe osteoarthritis in their knees.
- At least 210,000 people in the UK have x-ray evidence of moderate to severe osteoarthritis in their knees.
- The cost of drugs prescriptions was £341 million in the year 2000.
- The cost of GP consultations was £307 million in the year 2000.

Since osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease, the damage of joints has shown to be irreversible. The medical profession has no cure. Medical treatment is with NSAIDS (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and analgesics (painkillers).

Alternative Approaches To Treatment

Osteoarthritis sufferers have been seeking their own help and using other resources such as complementary medicine. These may include acupuncture, herbs, supplements and increasingly magnetic therapy and magnetic bracelets. What many arthritis sufferers are looking for with these alternative approaches are safe natural solutions that are drug free so there are no side effects, reasonable pricing and more importantly therapeutically effective. Magnetic therapy appears to fulfil many of these criteria and can work for many arthritic sufferers.

Magnetic Therapy and Magnetic Bracelets

Magnetic therapy is as the name suggests the therapeutic application of magnets, this includes products such as magnetic back, wrist, elbow, knee, ankle and shoulder wraps and supports. It also includes the application of block magnets, dot magnets and drinking magnetic water. Wearing a magnetic bracelet is part of the magnetic therapeutic approach. Scientists are now beginning to discover that magnetic therapy can have a beneficial affect on the human body. Like some aspects of medical science and complementary medicine magnetic therapy is not fully understood. Some mystery surrounds the subject, but initial research has started to indicate that the use of magnetic bracelets can play a useful role in reducing the debilitating symptoms of osteoarthritis.

This positive conclusion is not news to the millions of users of magnetic bracelets and other magnetic therapy products around the world who have accepted them as an additional therapeutic medium to help with the symptoms of osteoarthritis. For more information on the subject of magnetic therapy please visit our web site.

Magnetic Bracelet Research and Anecdotal Evidence

The increasing acceptance of the use of magnetic bracelets is due to two factors. Firstly the sheer weight of anecdotal evidence. Most people find their way to magnetic bracelets by the good reports of friends and family. Secondly, because of the positive feedback, the publicity and consistently great results, the scientific world has been prompted to investigate and research their efficacy.

In December 2004 the British Medical Journal (BMJ) published the results of a randomised controlled trial of magnetic bracelets for relieving pain in Osteoarthritis of the hip and knee. The study involved 194 men and women aged between 45-80 years with Osteoarthritis of the hip and knee. The patients wore one of three bracelets standard strength static neodymium magnetic bracelets, weak magnetic bracelets and non-magnetic (dummy) bracelets for twelve weeks.

The research results were very positive in that the evidence showed a beneficial effect of magnetic wrist bracelets on the pain of Osteoarthritis of the hip and knee and compared favourably with other drug treatments. The study had unresolved questions over the placebo effect (some participants guessed they had a standard (strong) bracelet) and indicated that further research was needed (See our Website for further details), but a significant conclusion was: ‘Whatever the mechanism, the benefit from magnetic bracelets seems clinically useful’.

How Do Magnetic Bracelets Work?

So why is it that a bracelet with magnets lying close to the main arteries in the wrist can reduce pain so far away such as in the knee, hip or back? There are various theories and hypothesis, some relate to alternative medical theory such as acupuncture points and meridians, others use a more modern medical scientific approach, it is very much a work in progress.

A popular view point says it’s all in the blood, and that the answer lies in the fact that healing works on a cellular level. Several studies have been done on the effects of magnetism at the cellular level. Nearly 1% of our blood is charged particles or ions. These ions can be affected by a magnetic field from good quality magnetic bracelets; the ions polarize creating an electric field which in turn creates a small induced electric current. Any ions that have attached themselves to the artery walls are freed by this weak current to flow back into the main stream. The small current increases the quantity of ions and the newly ionised blood circulates throughout the body improving oxygenation to the cells, thereby significantly contributing to the efficiency of the blood flow with the resultant healing effect.

The Future of Magnetic Bracelets

Research and anecdotal evidence indicates that magnetic bracelets can be very useful in reducing many of the debilitating symptoms of osteoarthritis. Further research is definitely needed to confirm some of the reported experiences and findings. Research is also needed to determine some of the key magnetic bracelet variables such as; minimum magnetic strength, magnet size and polarity.

A question arises about when or even if this research will ever be conducted, as most research is drug related and budgets are tight. It would be unfortunate if sufferers of osteoarthritis missed out on the potential pain relief benefits of magnetic bracelets while waiting for more research, unless off course we conduct our own personal research project by experimentation.

By Mel Epstein

3 comments:

CharmN Jewelry said...

have heard a lot about it that magnets do relieve pain in the bones etc...never experienced it.Good to read this article to learn more about it.
Silver Charm Bracelet

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Mary said...

Thanks for sharing, well !They are the bracelets which are made of any magnetic material. You could get more information through this website.
http://www.jewellerycorner.com

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