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Response of pain to static magnetic fields in postpolio patients: a double-blind pilot study
Vallbona C, Hazlewood CF, Jurida G
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 1997 Nov;78(11):1200-1203
clinical trial
9/10 [Eligibility criteria: No; Random allocation: Yes; Concealed allocation: Yes; Baseline comparability: Yes; Blind subjects: Yes; Blind therapists: Yes; Blind assessors: Yes; Adequate follow-up: Yes; Intention-to-treat analysis: No; Between-group comparisons: Yes; Point estimates and variability: Yes. Note: Eligibility criteria item does not contribute to total score] *This score has been confirmed*

OBJECTIVE: To determine if the chronic pain frequently presented by postpolio patients can be relieved by application of magnetic fields applied directly over an identified pain trigger point. DESIGN: Double-blind randomized clinical trial. SETTING: The postpolio clinic of a large rehabilitation hospital. PATIENTS: Fifty patients with diagnosed postpolio syndrome who reported muscular or arthritic-like pain. INTERVENTION: Application of active or placebo 300 to 500 Gauss magnetic devices to the affected area for 45 minutes. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Score on the McGill Pain Questionnaire. RESULTS: Patients who received the active device experienced an average pain score decrease of 4.4 +/- 3.1 (p < 0.0001) on a 10-point scale. Those with the placebo devices experienced a decrease of 1.1 +/- 1.6 points (p < 0.005). The proportion of patients in the active-device group who reported a pain score decrease greater than the average placebo effect was 76%, compared with 19% in the placebo-device group (p < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: The application of a device delivering static magnetic fields of 300 to 500 Gauss over a pain trigger point results in significant and prompt relief of pain in postpolio subjects.

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