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Yet the scientific evidence does not, generally, support the use of magnets for specific indications, and the vast majority (if not totality) of claims made for magnetic devices in marketing are either false or unsupported and highly implausible. The media attention given to a recent study of static magnetic fields (SMF) in the treatment of inflammation brings up many important points regarding this disconnect.
First, it is important to recognize that not all magnets or magnetic fields are the same. The most significant difference is between pulsating magnetic fields and static magnetic fields. Electricity and magnetism are actually manifestations of the same fundamental force: electromagnetism. This was first recognized when it was discovered that a changing magnetic field can generate and electrical current, and a changing electrical current can generate a magnetic field. A pulsating magnetic field, therefore, is capable of generating an electrical current. Many aspect of cell function and communication involve electrical potentials or currents, and therefore it is plausible - at least from a physical point of view - for a pulsating magnetic field to affect electrical current in tissue and thereby manifest an effect. The best established clinical use of a pulsating magnetic field is in the healing of bone fractures. Although this effect is modest, the evidence so far supports the conclusion that there is a relevant biological response.