Medical memo: Attracted to magnets?

Medical memo

Attracted to magnets?

Published: April, 2008

Household remedies and folk medicine have always coexisted with mainstream medicine. In the early days, physicians could do little more than traditional healers, but as scientific medicine has come of age, the gap between alternative and standard medicine has widened. Still, as medicine has grown more complex, the appeal of simple solutions seems to increase. It's entirely understandable, and some of these healing methods may prove useful. The key is to study them, so we can all learn what works and what does not.

Magnetic devices are undeniably popular. According to current estimates, Americans spend about $300 million a year on magnetic bracelets, arm and leg bands, insoles, neck and back braces, pillows, and mattresses. Used mostly for musculoskeletal pain, magnets are also advertised to treat a wide array of ailments. But do they work?

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