In days of old, it was a common site to see individuals peddling serums or devices that were purported to cure all your afflictions. Most of these claims were, of course, fraudulent but held a fascinating and alluring idea. Despite today?s medical milieu, and the many advances made in medical technology since those days of covered wagons and street side pharmacies, humans are still searching for some way to cure the afflictions of the human condition. What if someone made the claim, much like those traveling serum sellers of old, that they could provide mankind with a simple solution for many medical conditions? The concept of magnetotherapy, or the treatment of ailments through the exposure to magnetic fields, has been presented as just a solution for many of today?s medical woes such as musculoskelatal injuries, soft tissue trauma and pain associated with ailments such as arthritis. The description of the interactions of magnetic fields with ions, based on the findings presented by Faraday?s Law versus that of the Hall effect reveal that magnetic fields are not all the same.
Magnetic fields are found in two primary states. The fields that magnets create are either static, as is the case with permanent magnets (such as magnets commonly found on a refrigerator), or dynamic as in the case of an electromagnet. Electromagnets allow the generated magnetic field to be more dynamic and therefore can be made to pulse or fluctuate at different frequencies or intervals. Magnetic fields are typically measured in units of energy called Teslas or Gauss. This measurement standard is used to indicate field strengths for both pulsing and static magnetic fields.
Some researchers assert all magnetic fields render equivalent beneficial results; however, based on a study conducted by Dal Monte, Fontanesi, Cadossi, Poli, and Giancecchi as well as many other published works from other researchers, dynamic magnetic fields produce greater therapeutic effects than their static field counterparts (1).
Tom Jue, Ph. D., a professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of California at Davis, agreed about the possibility of magnetic fields having beneficial effects on biological tissue but seemed skeptical about the data that was presented in contemporary literature. He noted that a majority of the data was found under questionable research methods and was not yet scientifically verified and in fact seemed relatively ambiguous. He also pointed out that a majority of research and implementation of this therapy was done in the realm of Orthopedics, or the field dealing with injury to bones (2).