Q. My husband says that his magnetic bracelet helps his arthritis pain. What do you have to say about that? Would it also help fibromyalgia? Are there side effects?

A. A few randomized studies suggest that magnets may help arthritis pain. Many scientists are still skeptical, but some people who have tried magnets agree with your husband. Magnets are not appropriate for pregnant women, people wearing pacemakers or those using electro-magnetic equipment such as insulin pumps or sleep apnea machines. We’re not aware of other side effects.

We discuss this approach among others in our Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis. There are no studies to show whether a magnetic bracelet would help fibromyalgia. We think it is unlikely to do harm, though, except perhaps to the pocketbook.

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  1. Janene J.
    Reply

    I would never have believed that magnets would make such a difference in my life. I have very painful arthritis in my knee, and plantar fasciitis in the opposite foot. I remembered that a friend of mine had a business selling different magnetic products, and decided to try it. I bought a pillow with magnets inside. Even after several days, it was very uncomfortable, (because of the wavy dip in it that is suppose to be the support.) So I decided to try propping my leg that has the arthritis on the pillow while I slept. I cozied my hurting foot there too. What a remarkable difference! Along with drinking my red bush tea, I have very little pain in either my leg or foot. I sleep with this pillow every night with my leg propped on it. I can really tell in the morning if my leg slipped off during sleep, because the old pain is back. I now don’t have to take the large doses of Motrin that I have been taking for so long. I highly suggest trying magnets!

  2. burt Bowen
    Reply

    I had pain in my knuckles on little finger and ring finger on right hand, and it had reached the point where it was painful to shake hands with people. They hurt on any usage. Also, when I tried to close my fist, those two fingers would stop about 3/8 of an inch from the heel of my hand.
    Several years ago I read in your column about an English study on magnets helping arthritis.
    I bought a copper bracelet (belt & suspenders approach) with magnets set in it.
    After a period of time, I realized the pain was gone and I can close my fist to the point where those fingers now touch the heel of my hand. I can shake hands with people.

  3. Janni
    Reply

    I do not have a pacemaker, but I do suffer from heart palpitations at times. Would the magnet be safe to use for my arthritis? Thank you!

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