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.