Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Magnetic insoles do not provide pain relief

26.09.2005


Magnetic shoe insoles did not effectively relieve foot pain among patients in a study, researchers report in the current issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings. And the results indicate that patients who strongly believed in magnets had pain relief even if they were given false magnets to wear.



"This study provides convincing evidence that use of these static magnets was not effective in relieving symptoms of nonspecific foot pain in the workplace," says Mark Winemiller, M.D., the lead author of the study and a Mayo Clinic physician.

Dr. Winemiller said adults with foot pain are likely to initiate self-treatment with magnets based on personal recommendations or belief systems, often without a specific diagnosis or prescription. That population was targeted in this study, he said, with the goal of determining whether magnetic insoles work in the way they are typically used. He said the randomized, double-blind nature of this study was chosen to minimize bias and maximize the validity of results, and he is confident that this was accomplished.


An interesting result in the study relates to "the placebo effect." Patients in studies who are given the placebo or false treatment often report improvement in their conditions when they believe they are receiving a treatment designed to provide relief. "A moderate placebo effect was noted in participants who believed the strongest in the potential of magnets to help their pain," says Dr. Winemiller.

Otherwise, the fact that magnetic and nonmagnetic insoles provided nearly identical pain relief suggests that it may have been simply the cushioning that was effective -- and not the magnets.

In the past decade, the use of magnets for pain relief has increased substantially. Despite little scientific evidence (and lack of Food and Drug Administration approval for pain relief), many people have used magnets to relieve their pain, spending approximately $5 billion worldwide -- an estimated $500 million in the United States annually -- on magnetic pain-relieving devices.

Magnetic devices use either static or pulsed magnets. Clinically, pulsed magnets have been shown effective for treating delayed fracture healing, for reducing pain in various musculoskeletal conditions, and for decreasing edema associated with acute trauma, although other studies have shown no benefit in these situations. Externally applied static magnets generally are considered safe and have few adverse effects, but little is known about their mechanism of action. Most basic scientific research has focused on movement of tiny electrical voltages that may lead to decreased pain.

The insoles studied were the Active Comfort magnetic insole (Spenco Medical Corp.), which has a magnetic foil pad located under the arch of the foot. These insoles were chosen because they are comfortably cushioned but do not have rigid arch support or acupressure features, which potentially could confound results if such features provided an independent effect. The special set of false magnetic insoles also were produced by the manufacturer, using a nonmagnetized metal foil embedded identically in the foam insole material.

Along with Dr. Winemiller, Edward Laskowski, M.D., and W. Scott Harmsen of Mayo Clinic, collaborated on this study, as did Robert Billow, D.O., who is now with Northwest Orthopaedic Surgeons, Mount Vernon, Wash.

This project was funded by an unrestricted educational grant from the Spenco Medical Corp, Waco, Texas. Spenco was not involved in any way in the study design, data collection, data analyses, or data interpretation or in manuscript preparation, review or approval. Both the active and false magnetic insoles were provided at no charge directly from the manufacturer. None of the authors have any affiliations or financial involvement with any organization or entity with a financial interest in the subject matter discussed in this article.

In an editorial in the same issue, Roger Fillingim, Ph.D., and Donald Price, Ph.D., of the University of Florida College of Dentistry in Gainesville noted how the placebo controls of the study was important.

"Placebo controls are extremely valuable for determining the efficacy of pain interventions," the authors write.

John Murphy | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mayoclinic.com
http://www.mayo.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland

nachricht Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Transport of molecular motors into cilia

28.03.2017 | Life Sciences

A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones

28.03.2017 | Information Technology

NASA spacecraft investigate clues in radiation belts

28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>