MAGNETIC bracelets worn
by sufferers of osteoarthritis to reduce joint pain DO work,
experts said yesterday.
Doctors have long
derided the benefits of the bracelets, which many patients
insist give some relief, calling it a figment of the
But a new study of the
common joint condition says it has "clinical" proof sufferers
feel less pain and discomfort while wearing the bracelets.
In a study of 194 men
and women, aged 45 to 80, those given non-magnetic, or low
magnetic bracelets felt little change in their condition.
But those given
standard magnetic bracelets to wear around troublesome hip or
knee joints felt a significant reduction in pain.
No one in the 12-week
study group was aware which type of bracelet they were wearing.
The researchers from
the Peninsula Medical School, in Plymouth, concluded: "Pain from
osteoarthritis of the hip and knee decreases when wearing
"But we cannot be
certain our data shows a specific effect of magnets, a placebo
effect or both."
They added the benefit
of magnetic bracelets, sold for £30 to £50, was clinically
useful, but they were not a substitute for existing treatments.
About 760,000 people in
the UK suffer from osteoarthritis with three million GP visits a
The Arthritis Research
Campaign said: "We wanted to establish if there was any evidence
and didn't want the public wasting their money.
"Results appear to show
wearing a magnetic bracelet does reduce pain in hips and knees."