Controversial Pain Magnets - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/7/03

Controversial Pain Magnets

It's been hugely popular, but controversial since a small study a few years ago in the American Journal of Pain Management indicated that special magnets on the soles of the feet of diabetic patients could relieve pain.

You see, Diabetes isn't just a sugar problem. It can lead to blindness, kidney failure, amputations, heart disease, stroke, and peripheral neurophathy, which is a fancy way of saying nerve damage to the feet.

"All the pain you could possibly imagine. Burning, hot, cold, tingling numb -- anything you can think of, I have all the time. It doesn't stop. All at once," says Michael Montopoli, diabetic.

A new study says it confirms that magnets may provide effective relief from diabetic neuropathy. Dr Michael Weintraub of New York Medical College led a national, multi-center double blind experiment where all the participants wore special insoles 24 hours a day. Half the insoles contained a small magnetic chip, the other half did not. And no one could tell the difference.

"Then, within six weeks, the placebo group, just plateau, and the people who were wearing these therapeutic devices continued to have less and less pain," says Dr. Michael Weintraub, neurologist.

"The needles and pins, the numbing, that's what's eliminating. Not 100%, but maybe 85-90%, and that's the big pain that keeps you awake at night," says Michael Montopoli.

So, why would the magents work? The answer is:  no one really knows. But Dr. Weintraub says for some reason, the magnetic insoles don't work well on foot pain caused from something other than Diabetes.

At any rate, it is still controversial. But if you'd like to know more about this latest study, you can (click here)

The magnetic insteps are called "Magsteps" and are made by Nikken.

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