Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hand FAQ

Question:

Have you ever heard of using magnets for carpal tunnel syndrome? Does it work?

Answer:

A few studies have been done using magnets for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). The magnets may increase blood flow and offer pain relief. This hasn't been proven yet. When patients are divided into two groups (treatment for 45 minutes with real magnets, treatment with placebo magnets), there's no difference in the results afterwards.

Magnets worn with wrist support wraps 24 hours per day have better results. Patients have less numbness and tingling. Nerve tests show better results after eight weeks of this treatment.

If using magnets, The side of the magnet with negative polarity is held against the skin, either with tape, or as part of a splint or wrap. Refrigerator magnets are too weak to be used for CTS. The magnets must be at least 550 to 850 gauss. Gauss is a unit of measurement of magnetic strength.

Remember to avoid having magnets near computers or any other electronic equipment. The data can be erased by the magnetic force.

Susan L. Michlovitz, PT, PhD, CHT. Conservative Interventions for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. In Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. October 2004. Vol. 34. No. 10. Pp. 589-600.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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