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August 2, 2000

Are Magnets Effective for Pain Control?

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;284(5):564-566. doi:10.1001/jama.284.5.561

To the Editor: I am distressed that you have permitted Dr Collocott and colleagues1 to state that the depth of "The source of pain in our participants . . . may explain the lack of beneficial effect from the magnets used." This remark indicates a presumption that a less deep source or a stronger magnet might have resulted in a positive outcome. Nowhere in the article is there any indication of the lack of factual basis for considering these possibilities.

Do we have so little faith in our basic understanding of the biology of health and disease that we allow such ideas to be presented without comment in one of the world's leading medical journals? By doing so, are we not abrogating our responsibility to the public, to our patients, and to our medical students?

Collacott  EAZimmerman  JTWhite  DWRindone  JP Bipolar permanent magnets for the treatment of chronic low back pain: a pilot study.  JAMA. 2000;283:1322-1325.Google Scholar