Being in pain isn’t any fun, and many people are willing to go to just about any lengths to find relief for their pain. There are all kinds of products that promise to ease pain, but some work better than others while others don’t work at all. Magnets are one of the more controversial methods of pain relief, so it’s only natural for you to ask do magnets relieve pain.
As of now, there appears to be no definitive answer. Modern western medicine and science tell us that there is simply no way that magnets can have an effect on your pain. They don’t “realign the blood”, or cause “energy vortices that change the chemistry of your body to stop sending pain transmissions through the ether”. There is nothing that a magnet can do to the body that will reduce pain, at least not according to the current understanding of western medical science.
So, we know what modern science has to say about magnets, but what are some claims in support of their ability to relieve pain?
History tells us that the ancient Greeks used magnets to cure or reduce many types of pain. It’s possible that older cultures from other parts of the world believed the same thing, but the Greeks offer us the earliest known documentation. There is a tendency for some people to assume modern medicine doesn’t know what they’re talking about and that the ancients somehow knew more than we do now. It would be hard to argue that we know less now, but it would be fair to say that there are still things that we don’t understand.
Perhaps the ancients knew something that has been lost to the ages, or maybe not. However, magnets are not only touted as curing pain. Some have gone so far as to claim that magnet therapy can cure (not just treat or alleviate) arthritis, depression, nausea, immunity disorders, and cancer. The mechanisms by which these “cures” take place will vary by whoever is giving the pseudoscientific explanation. The sad part is that they could be profiting from the terminally ill, from the very people who should be seeking treatments that work, and not some oddball claim.
So, back to the question of do magnets relieve pain. It looks like each side of the debate has a definitive answer, but they each contradict each other. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that if they do relieve pain it is only because of the placebo effect. In other words, the only reason the reported pain level goes down is that the person using the magnet believe magnets work. Okay, does it really matter?
Ultimately, you will have to see for yourself. Even if it is the placebo effect at work, who cares? The main thing is that the pain starts to go away; and whether that’s because of some modern mystery, some pseudoscientific jargon, the placebo effect, or something just doesn’t matter. The best answer is to try them for yourself and see just effective they really are.