Can Wearing a Magnetic Bracelet Relieve Arthritis Pain?

Magnetic bracelets, a form of magnetic therapy, are touted as an effective way to relieve arthritis pain, but there is little research supporting these benefits, and some believe the positive effects may be due to the placebo effect (people experience benefits after taking them) given ineffective treatment) rather than actual benefit. There are other alternative treatments for arthritis: some also seem questionable, while others are evidence-based.

How effective are magnets for arthritis?

Magnetic bracelets in medicine

Magnetic therapy is one of the oldest recorded medical treatments in history. Unfortunately, that doesn’t necessarily make it a good one. The magnetic bracelet that promises pain relief may seem like an attractive quick fix, but science shows it doesn’t deliver the benefits it promises.


The use of magnetic therapy has been of interest to the general populace and the scientific community since at least the times of ancient Greece. Magnets are believed to have the ability to treat pain. Cleopatra is believed to have believed in and used magnetic therapy, sleeping with a magnet on her forehead to maintain her youthful appearance.

The Greek philosopher Aristotle touted magnets as a healing method. Magnetic therapy has also been requested by other prominent scientists and public figures, including health care provider and physicist Sir William Gilbert, who said he used magnets to ease Queen Elizabeth’s arthritis pain.

Magnet bracelets became popular after professional athletes shared rave reviews about how magnets can heal their pains and injuries.

Types of

Magnetic bracelets on the market vary in the type of metal and alloy used, construction, appearance and strength. Among the many sellers, magnetic bracelets can have a sporty or fancy look. Some sellers have many options, including bracelets, cuffs, links, or loose.

When it comes to the materials used, these bracelets use different types of metals, including:

  • Stainless steel
  • titanium
  • Hematite

Some magnetic bracelets are also made of ferrite (a mixture of iron and barium) or neodymium magnets (iron, boron, and neodymium). The strength of a magnetic bracelet is usually between 300 gauss and 5,000 gauss.

how they are supposed to work

Magnetic bracelets are thought to do two things: relieve pain and enhance blood flow. Magnets generate electromagnetic fields. The idea is that magnets attached to the skin affect the circulation of iron in the blood, which helps deliver nutrients to the joints.

There are three types of magnetic fields: paramagnetic, ferromagnetic and diamagnetic. Iron in blood is not ferromagnetic, which means it is not attracted to magnets, so commercially available magnetic wristbands will not alter blood flow.

Some holistic therapists believe that magnetic bracelets can increase endorphin levels, regulate mood, slow disease progression, and more.

what the research shows

Studies have shown that magnetic bracelets do not relieve arthritis symptoms. A study investigating the effects of magnetic bracelets on people with osteoarthritis found no changes in pain, stiffness, or bodily function among participants. Another study looked at their effects in people with rheumatoid arthritis and also found no treatment for pain, stiffness or swelling.​​​​

READ ALSO:  Overview of Neck Osteoarthritis

In a review of 29 relevant trials, none found clear evidence that magnetic bracelets can treat pain or induce blood flow.

Magnets can interfere with medical devices such as pacemakers and insulin pumps. Also, the magnets are small and there is a risk of ingestion by children.

other alternative therapies

There are other forms of alternative therapy that may help relieve arthritis pain:

  • anti-inflammatory diet
  • Herbs include aloe vera, eucalyptus, cat’s claw, ginger and green tea
  • Supplements include fish oil, SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine), masticand capsaicin

However, these alternative treatments should not replace traditional medical treatments. Consult your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement or dietary regimen.

Natural Osteoarthritis Pain Relief

lifestyle measures

In addition to medical treatment, lifestyle changes can also provide relief, including:

  • quit smoking
  • eat a healthy diet
  • use a cold pack
  • Exercise
  • Perform stress reduction techniques
  • sleep hygiene

These lifestyle changes have been shown to support treatment and improve symptoms.

A sedentary lifestyle may worsen arthritis symptoms

VigorTip words

It’s hard not to try a treatment that has received so many positive reviews, but in the case of magnetic bracelets for arthritis pain, the evidence isn’t there. They can be attractive because they appear to be a quick fix for arthritis symptoms. You deserve relief – find it through legitimate products, services and lifestyle measures backed by strong science. Talk to your healthcare provider about medical and alternative treatments that can really relieve pain and improve symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are Magnetic Arthritis Bracelets a Scam?

    There is no scientific evidence to support the use of magnets for arthritis. Comments that magnetic bracelets can relieve arthritis pain or relieve joint stiffness may be due to the placebo effect.

  • Can a magnet bracelet improve blood circulation?

    Will not. Although magnetic bracelet manufacturers claim that magnetic bracelets do not improve blood circulation, there is no scientific evidence that magnetic bracelets increase blood flow.

  • Are there any side effects of wearing a magnetic bracelet?

    Most people can wear a magnetic bracelet without any side effects or problems. However, if you have a pacemaker, insulin pump, or other internal or wearable medical device, being close to the magnet can cause problems. Consult the device manufacturer before wearing a magnetic bracelet.