Magnetic Gel Could Treat Chronic Pain
Given the current opioid crisis, we all understand the risks of relying on pharmaceuticals alone for pain management. At HealthCare Too we always look for ways that provide consumer-centered treatments that can be used to complement medical treatment. Here is an interesting spin on magnetic field therapy where magnetic gel could treat chronic pain.
Magnet therapy has been used for thousands of years to treat arthritis, inflammation and other chronic illnesses. Today therapeutic magnets can be found in bracelets, shoes, clothing, mattresses and dozens of other products, sold by companies that claim magnets relieve pain, improve blood flow and even flush out toxins.
It’s a controversial theory and there is little science to support the medical use of magnets. One critic has even called magnet therapy “a billion-dollar boondoggle.”
But maybe there’s something to it after all.UCLA researchers have demonstrated that a gel-like material containing tiny magnetic particles can be used to relieve chronic pain caused by disease or injury. In a study published in the journal Advanced Materials, they say the biomechanical force of magnets can be used on damaged cells to help them heal.
“Much of mainstream modern medicine centers on using pharmaceuticals to make chemical or molecular changes inside the body to treat disease,” says principal investigatorDino Di Carlo, PhD, a UCLA professor of bioengineering. “However, recent breakthroughs in the control of forces at small scales have opened up a new treatment idea — using physical force to kick-start helpful changes inside cells. There’s a long way to go, but this early work shows this path toward so-called ‘mechanoceuticals’ is a promising one.”
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