Efficacy of static magnetic field therapy in chronic pelvic pain: A double-blind pilot study

Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmacoeconomics, University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, Memphis, USA.
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Impact Factor: 4.7). 12/2002; 187(6):1581-7. DOI: 10.1067/mob.2002.128026
Source: PubMed


The aim of the study was to determine the efficacy of static magnetic field therapy for the treatment of chronic pelvic pain (CPP) by measuring changes in pain relief and disability.
Thirty-two patients with CPP completed 2 weeks and 19 patients completed 4 weeks of randomized double-blind placebo-controlled treatment at a gynecology clinic. Active (500 G) or placebo magnets were applied to abdominal trigger points for 24 hour per day. The McGill Pain Questionnaire, Pain Disability Index, and Clinical Global Impressions Scale were outcome measures.
Patients receiving active magnets who completed 4 weeks of double-blind treatment had significantly lower Pain Disability Index (P <.05), Clinical Global Impressions-Severity (P <.05), and Clinical Global Impressions-Improvement (P <.01) scores than those receiving placebo magnets, but were more likely to correctly identify their treatment (P <.05).
SMF therapy significantly improves disability and may reduce pain when active magnets are worn continuously for 4 weeks in patients with CPP, but blinding efficacy is compromised.

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    • "Since Galen's indication to apply magnetic therapy for curing scars that are caused by infectious materials [Häfeli, 2007], several scientific experiments have been performed in order to understand the biological effect of external magnetic field exposure and to develop magnetic devices optimized for therapy. Recent studies on humans suggest chronic pain as a potential application field for magnetic therapy as a non-contact, non-invasive, and cheap physiotherapeutic method for osteoarthritis [Hulme et al., 2002], spine disorders [Linovitz et al., 2002], abdominal and genital pain [Holcomb et al., 2000], chronic pelvic pain [Brown et al., 2002], knee pain [Hinman et al., 2002], fibromyalgia [Alfano et al., 2001], myofascial pain syndrome [Smania et al., 2003], and diabetic neuropathic pain [Weintraub et al., 2009]. Precise human evaluation of the efficacy of several differently applied magnetic therapies has led to conflicting conclusions in meta-analysis; SMF therapy showed no benefits compared to placebo controls [Pittler et al., 2007]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Recent research demonstrated that exposure of mice to both inhomogeneous (3-477 mT) and homogeneous (145 mT) static magnetic fields (SMF) generated an analgesic effect toward visceral pain elicited by the intraperitoneal injection of 0.6% acetic acid. In the present work, we investigated behavioral responses such as writhing, entry avoidance, and site preference with the help of a specially designed cage that partially protruded into either the homogeneous (ho) or inhomogeneous (inh) SMF. Aversive effects, cognitive recognition of analgesia, and social behavior governed mice in their free locomotion between SMF and sham sides. The inhibition of pain response (I) for the 0-5, 6-20, and 21-30 min periods following the challenge was calculated by the formula I = 100 (1 - x/y) in %, where x and y represent the number of writhings in the SMF and sham sides, respectively. In accordance with previous measurements, an analgesic effect was induced in exposed mice (Iho = 64%, P < 0.0002 and Iinh = 62%, P < 0.002). No significant difference was found in the site preference (SMFho, inh vs. sham) indicating that SMF is neither aversive nor favorable. Comparison of writhings observed in the sham versus SMF side of the cage revealed that SMF exposure resulted in significantly fewer writhings than sham (Iho = 64%, P < 0.004 and Iinh = 81%, P < 0.03). Deeper statistical analysis clarified that the lateral SMF gradient between SMF and sham sides could be responsible for most of the analgesic effect (Iho = 91%, P < 0.02 and Iinh = 54%, P < 0.02). Bioelectromagnetics 34:385-396, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Bioelectromagnetics 07/2013; 34(5):385-96. DOI:10.1002/bem.21781 · 1.71 Impact Factor
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    • "Stationary magnets have been studied for pain of many different body areas, with varying reports of benefit. A summary of success from a number of different studies has been reported in the treatment of knee pain, chronic pelvic pain, postpolio pain, and carpal tunnel pain [69] [70] [71] [72] [73]. Little to no benefit was found in treating wrist pain, fibromyalgia, and low back pain, and no benefit in treating heel pain associated with plantar fascitis [74] [75] [76] [77]. "
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    ABSTRACT: One primary reason patients go to emergency departments is for pain relief. Understanding the physiologic dynamics of pain, pharmacologic methods for treatment of pain, as well CAM therapies used in treatment of pain is important to all providers in emergency care. Asking patients about self-care and treatments used outside of the emergency department is an important part of the patient history. Complementary and alternative therapies are very popular for painful conditions despite the lack of strong research supporting some of their use. Even though evidenced-based studies that are double blinded and show a high degree of interrater observer reliability do not exist, patients will likely continue to seek out CAM therapies as a means of self-treatment and a way to maintain additional life control. Regardless of absolute validity of a therapy for some patients, it is the bottom line: "it seems to help my pain." Pain management distills down to a very simple endpoint, patient relief, and comfort. Sham or science, if the patient feels better, feels comforted, feels less stressed, and more functional in life and their practices pose no health risk, then supporting their CAM therapy creates a true wholistic partnership in their health care.CAM should be relatively inexpensive and extremely safe. Such is not always the case, as some patients have discovered with the use of botanicals. It becomes an imperative that all providers be aware of CAM therapies and informed about potential interactions and side effects when helping patients manage pain and explore adding CAM strategies for pain relief. The use of regulated breathing, meditation, guided imagery, or a massage for a pain sufferer are simple but potentially beneficial inexpensive aids to care that can be easily employed in the emergency department. Some CAM therapies covered here, while not easily practiced in the emergency department, exist as possibilities for exploration of patients after they leave, and may offer an improved sense of well-being and empowerment in the face of suffering and despair. The foundations of good nutrition, exercise, stress reduction, and reengagement in life can contribute much to restoring the quality of life to a pain patient. Adding nondrug therapies of physical therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, TENS, hypnosis, biofeedback, psychoanalysis, and others can complete the conventional picture. Adding in simple mind/body therapies, touch therapies, acupuncture, or others may be appropriate in select cases, and depending on the circumstances, may effect and enhance a conventional pain management program. Armed with an understanding of pain dynamics and treatments, practitioners can better meet patient needs, avoid serious side effects, and improve care when addressing pain management in the emergency department.
    Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America 06/2005; 23(2):529-49. DOI:10.1016/j.emc.2004.12.015 · 0.78 Impact Factor
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    • "Commercial claims for the efficacy of static magnets for a variety of salubrious effects often imply or aver that the magnets influence blood flow in a beneficial manner. However, in studies that report evidence of magnet related reduction of pain [Vallbona et al., 1997; Brown et al., 2002], edema [Man et al., 1999], or sympathetic diabetic neuropathy [Weintraub et al., 2003], the question of magnet related enhancement of blood flow has not been addressed. "
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    ABSTRACT: Although no effects of permanent magnets on resting skin blood flow (SBF) in humans have yet been demonstrated, the possibility that magnet related effects might modify dynamic SBF changes has not been previously studied. We hypothesized that magnets may alter local neurovascular mechanisms to cause changes in normal SBF vasoactive responses. To test this, we studied the effects of a magnet on SBF reductions induced by sympathetic reflexes associated with deep inspirations. SBF was continuously monitored by a dual channel laser-Doppler flowmeter with probes on the middle finger dorsum of both hands of 24 healthy subjects. In the first of two successive intervals, each of the fingers rested on sham ceramic magnets (control interval). Subsequently, one finger rested on an active magnet and the other finger on a sham (experimental interval). Skin temperatures were also measured. The magnet was a 37 mm diameter x 14 mm thick ceramic magnet with a surface field strength of 85 mT measured in the geometrical center of the magnet. Field strength at the finger dorsum, 13 mm above magnet, was 31.5 mT. During each interval, three deep breaths were used to elicit SBF reductions. Responses were calculated as the percent reduction in SBF from its prior 20 s average. Breaths in each interval were spaced 3 min apart to permit full recovery between responses. The experimental interval started after an active magnet was in place for 20 min. Results showed no significant difference in either vasoconstrictive responses or skin temperature due to the magnet. We conclude that magnets of the type, strength and duration used, have no significant effect on vasoconstrictive processes associated with this sympathetic reflex in this group of healthy subjects.
    Bioelectromagnetics 05/2005; 26(4):331-5. DOI:10.1002/bem.20096 · 1.71 Impact Factor
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