How are static magnets used in attempts to treat pain?
Static magnets are usually made from iron, steel, rare-earth
elements, or alloys. Typically, the magnets are
placed directly on the skin or placed inside clothing or other materials
that come into close contact with the body. Static magnets can be unipolar
(one pole of the magnet faces or touches the skin) or bipolar (both poles
face or touch the skin, sometimes in repeating patterns).8
Some magnet manufacturers make claims about the poles of magnets--for
example, that a unipolar design is better than a bipolar design, or that
the north pole gives a different effect from the south pole. These claims
have not been scientifically proven.1,9
A small number of rigorous scientific studies have examined the efficacy
of static magnets in treating pain. This evidence is discussed in Question
8 and Appendices II and III.