The statistics aren't encouraging. About 8 out of 10 people will experience back pain that's severe enough to interfere with their lifestyle at some point. Lower back pain is the second most common symptom that drives people to see a doctor. Unfortunately, the medications used to treat lower back problems such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and muscle relaxers have side effects.
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For example, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications are linked with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Sometimes the treatment is worse than the symptom! No wonder people are looking for drug-free ways to ease back discomfort. Exercise and physical therapy can help, but there's another alternative that works for some people – magnetic belts and supports.
Magnetic belts are flexible belts that wrap around your waist. They're designed to mold against the contours of your back, making them comfortable to slip on and wear. What makes them so special are the magnets sewn into the back of the belt. These magnets vary in strength depending upon the product, but they're designed to deliver a powerful magnetic field to your back muscles.
Many alternative practitioners recommend magnetic back supports to their patients with back pain as a drug-free way to decrease pain and help back pain sufferers get back on their feet again.
How do they work?
No one knows for sure, but one proposed mechanism is they increase blood flow to inflamed tissues by attracting charged particles in the blood such as iron and causing them to move.
This increases the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the inflamed areas, which helps to promote healing. There hasn't been a great deal of research looking at magnetic therapy, but some back pain sufferers say magnetic support belts have helped them when other treatments have failed to work. There are also magnetic supports available for ankle, knee and foot problems.