A piece of jewelry may relieve thepain of osteoarthritis (OA) of the kneeand hip, reported researchers in theBritish Medical Journal (December18, 2004). In a 12-week study of 200individuals with joint disease, theresearchers found that patients whowore a standard-strength magneticbracelet had less pain, compared withpatients who wore weaker or nonmagneticbracelets.
While the results were consistentwith previous studies that examinedmagnetic therapy, the researcherssaid they did not know if the reportedimprovement was because of thebracelet, the placebo effect, a believedbenefit from a treatment that has noeffect, or both. The biggest improvementwas seen among the patientswearing the higher-strength bracelet,suggesting that magnetic strength isimportant. The researchers noted thatthe benefits were in addition toimprovements from standard treatmentsfor OA.