January 4, 2008
Magnets have long been thought to have healing powers and now, two University of Virginia professors have proved it to be true. They discovered magnets can reduce swelling and ease pain.
Researchers at UVa studied the affects of magnetic therapy on rats. They found that magnets applied immediately after tissue trauma can reduce swelling faster, heal the injury quicker and decrease pain. The study is significant because it could get injured athletes back on the playing field quicker and decrease healing time in elderly patients.
“Perhaps a misstep off a curb for example, getting into a car for transportation and you can imagine then instead of a four day recovery time, but it might shorten the recovery time to two days,” said Thomas Skalak, University of Virginia professor of Biomedical Engineering.
Researchers found the force of a powerful magnet against an injury increases the blood flow in that area and ultimately heals injuries faster. In the future, magnets could be used much like ice packs on everyday sprains and bruises, but with even more beneficial results.
“One will have to design systems of magnets for different parts of the body, so that one can produce an effective level of magnetic field at the site of tissue injury,” said Skalak.
The researchers are now looking for private investment partners or a corporate sponsor to help them move forward with their work.