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Wednesday, 13 November, 2002, 00:23 GMT
Bracelets 'fail to give pain relief'
Many believe the bracelets have health benefits
Magnetic bracelets do not provide relief from muscle or joint paint, according to doctors.

Research carried out in the United States suggests ionized bracelets are no more effective than 'dummy' versions.

Manufacturers and some users claim the jewellery provides relief for conditions like arthritis and migraines through magnotherapy.


A large proportion of recent studies show the bracelets are beneficial

Roger Coghill, Coghill Research Laboratories
They claim that an electric current produced by the bracelet improves the circulation of the blood and helps to boost general health.

Dr Robert Bratton and colleagues at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville Florida decided to test those claims.

Claims tested

They gave one group of 305 people ionized bracelets which they wore for 28 days.

A second group was given a placebo or dummy version to wear for the same duration.

Both types of bracelet looked identical and were supplied by a leading manufacturer of this type of jewellery.

Those involved in the study were asked to report on whether they had any muscular or joint pain both before the trial and on specific days during the study.

People in both groups said they suffered less pain. There was no difference between those who were actually wearing ionized bracelets and those who were not.

The doctors who carried out the study said the findings raised serious questions about whether the bracelets were effective.

Dr Bratton said further research is needed.

"We need to look at what our patients are doing for their various problems and undertake objective, controlled studies to prove whether or not these treatments are beneficial."

Magnetic strength a factor

Roger Coghill, of Coghill Research Laboratories in Gwent, Wales, and one of those working in the area, said: "There are bracelets out there that don't work and there are bracelets that do.

"It appears to depend on the magnetic field strength used by manufacturers."

He added: "A lot more research is needed but we need to look at the whole run of recent studies rather than one study. A large proportion of recent studies show the bracelets are beneficial."

The findings are published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

See also:

09 Jun 99 | Health
11 Nov 02 | Health
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