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.
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