A Double-Blind Study Demonstrating Therapeutic Benefit of Magnets In Heel Pain Symptomology
Larry Seaman, DPM (Dec 1993)
A study was conducted at the Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine in Miami, Florida to determine the effectiveness of magnetized pads for treating heel pain syndrome. The double-blind study was performed on participants who have suffered from heel pain syndrome for at least two weeks. Both magnetized and demagnetized pads were applied to the feet without participants or the researchers able to tell the difference between the two, due to using pads of identical appearance. Only an impartial researcher was aware of which pads were magnetized, and which were not.
The pads which were used were rectangular and were 53 mm x 83 mm, and produce approximately a 300 gauss magnetic field. An identical amount of demagnetized pads of the same dimensions were also used.
Twenty study participants were initially tested utilizing the bipolar pads on their symptomatic feet. All participants had visited the foot clinic of the Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine. The ages of the participants ranged from 21 to 78 years old. The gender of the patients was noted, but was determined not to be a significant factor in the trial.
The participants studied had either heel spur or acute planter fascitis symptoms including, acute, or sharp pain on the heel area, or burning. All participants suffered from local symptoms with no neurological damage to their back or lower extremities. Participants who had foot surgery within the previous year were not included in the study. Participants who had metallic implants, including screws or wires in their feet were also excluded. All participants underwent 2 weeks of physical therapy and 2 weeks of minimum follow-up post-treatment.
The indication groups for all study criteria displayed a significantly higher therapeutic effectiveness using the magnetized pads than the control groups who used demagnetized pads. The most significant results were shown with a reduction of subjective pain in the heel spur syndrome category. Nearly 60% of all study participants in this category who were treated with magnetized pads reported significant reduction in symptoms.
The participants who displayed an increase in the ability to walk without pain after the treatment represented a 77% improvement rate using the magnetized pads, versus a 17% improvement reported by participants who used the demagnetized pads. This percentage acurately represents a placebo effect.
Additionally, the use of the pads on the feet produced no side-effects or skin irritation.