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A piece of jewelry may relieve the pain of osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee and hip, reported researchers in the British Medical Journal (December 18, 2004). In a 12-week study of 200 individuals with joint disease, the researchers found that patients who wore a standard-strength magnetic bracelet had less pain, compared with patients who wore weaker or nonmagnetic bracelets.
While the results were consistent with previous studies that examined magnetic therapy, the researchers said they did not know if the reported improvement was because of the bracelet, the placebo effect, a believed benefit from a treatment that has no effect, or both. The biggest improvement was seen among the patients wearing the higher-strength bracelet, suggesting that magnetic strength is important. The researchers noted that the benefits were in addition to improvements from standard treatments for OA.