Question: Do Magnets And Copper Bracelets Relieve Pain?
Answer: In today's kind of media-intense environment, people are inundated with all kinds of claims about the effectiveness of a variety of interventions for medical conditions including pain, cancer, HIV, AIDS. Many of these are unsubstantiated.
To understand why people think, sometimes reasonably, that these therapies work, it's important to understand the natural history of certain diseases, that is, especially for chronic pain because pain tends to be cyclic. So, the pain intensifies and de-intensifies over the course of three to eight weeks. So, it's very natural for patients to seek some kind of care whether it be through traditional care through physicians, or alternative medicine, lets say week two or three of their pain. Anything that's done around week three or four, is likely to create the impression that it's helpful because, in general, medical conditions, chronic conditions improve in a cyclic nature, and by week five or six, you're going to be better anyway. And you'll have the impression that the last person you saw, the last person who did something, applied a magnet or a bracelet, was responsible for the improvement in your health.
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