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January 7, 2004

Magnets for Patients With Heel Pain

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2004;291(1):43-44. doi:10.1001/jama.291.1.43-b

To the Editor: Dr Winemiller and colleagues1 found that magnetic insoles did not improve symptoms among patients with chronic heel pain. I question the methods used to arrive at this conclusion.

Plantar heel pain is common and has many causes. The ability to distinguish various foot conditions by clinical examination alone can be fraught with error because of symptom overlap and spectrum bias.2,3 There is no evidence that patients in the study by Winemuller et al had magnetic resonance imaging, radiographs, or nerve conduction studies. There is also no mention of patients' weights, activity levels, or whether or not they had diabetes mellitus.

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