Magnets! How do they work to relieve arthritis pain? LOL they don't


#1

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#2

see them in sports quite often, golf, baseball, etc. Maybe magnets enhance placebo energy?


#3

Heh. The first time I recall reading about "copper bracelets" was when Snoopy was trying one in a Peanuts comic strip, apparently first published in September of 1970 – and I doubt they were new even then.


#4

I've always thought that a copper bracelet would look kind of cool, but I didn't want people to see it and try to sell me crystals and colloidal silver and shit.


#5

As I told my father when he was contemplating this scam: "Either it does something to the body and you need to understand what the potential side effects or overdose effects are -- or it doesn't and it's a waste of money. 'It can't hurt' is not one of the options."


#6

I try to be open minded, you know? And wait until I can do the experiment myself?

But I was just never able to manage any suspension of disbelief for mail-order "magnet therapy" or "magnetic gas mileage enhancers".

Put me down with the grumpy self-righteous med-skeptics on this one, I guess. I was never able to keep from LOLing either.


#7

There is an occupational hazard of using magnetic bracelets for office work... Many modern laptops have a magnetic switch to signal that the screen is closed -- the bracelets trigger this switch quite easily resulting in the laptop going into sleep mode mid-email. The benefit is that one usually has a few paperclips right at hand.
(My wife swears that her magnetic bracelet helps her wrist pain -- I have given up on debunking)


#8

Sometimes placebo effect has legitimate uses. I just hate giving money to scammers.

("Placebo -- isn't that Russian for thank you?" -- one of Spider Robinson's characters.)


#9

I don't think that it's just the placebo effect, because she's also cherry picking the results by mis-remembering the past. I'm sure her wrist still hurts on occasion, but she's deliberately forgetting those occasions while focusing on the occasions when her wrist doesn't hurt. Just part of being human.


#10

The placebo effect works pretty well against pain...


#11

Are we still grumpy and self righteous when we're right?


#12

Magnets may not be effective, but the idea of magnets seems to be effective. Pain control is one of the things where placebos can be very effective, and someone spending $5-$10 or whatever for substantial chronic pain relief is getting quite a therapeutic bargain and is hardly a "sucker".


#13

I've long thought there should be an ethical way for doctors... well, okay, no doctor is going to prescribe magnets. But if you're going to self-prescribe, a powerful placebo is probably the perfect medication. Beats the hell out of those herbs that dissolve your liver.


#14

Just thinking of a new superhero: Placebo! Doesn't have any superpowers, but is reputed to be able to do almost anything. Always the first to be called on when things get really bad, or even mildly irritating.


#15

There's research that magnets may make you less depressed, but not at the dosage used in the study:


#16

I've been working on a placebo that works across electronic networks. Quite tricky. I could let you try it out but I will need to ask for a small sum to cover my expenses only since it is in the testing stage. For $35 american I can supply you with a short-span multi-modal counter-placebo that will cure anything except the common cold. Which is $10 extra. If you'd like to send along a pencil I will hand sharpen it for you also and return it with your e-placebo at no additional charge. Use sparingly, please, It isn't fully tested and dosages are preliminary.


#17

Conveniently, the internet is full of people who sell magnets in pretty much every conceivable shape, size, and physically-possible strength, without making any representation other than 'magnet is magnetic'. In addition to being honest, these magnets tend to be a whole lot punchier, per dollar, than the fancy quacktastic variants.


#18

One major factor to note is that the magnetic fields (in addition to being heroic by the standards of permanent magnets) in an MRI, or in TMS, are oscillating fields which induce currents in anything sufficiently conductive. A permanent magnet, unless moving at fair speed, presents a static field.


#19

You just need to buy the new Medicinal Strength Sit N Spin. It's a retrofitted ultracentrifuge.


#20

Well of course all the time it hurt was when she forgot to wear her magic bracelet!