Researchers based in the University of Virginia utilized 3 different types of pain measurement for this study: functional status of the study participants using a standardized questionnaire, the quantity of tender points identified on their bodies, and a series of self-reported ratings to quantify their experienced pain intensity.
Data was compiled for 94 the fibromyalgia patients, who had been divided and organized into 4 separate study groups. A control group received a fake, or placebo, treatment consisting of pads which contained magnets that had been demagnetized. Another control group continued to receive their regular, standard treatment for their fibromyalgia symptoms.
The remaining study groups received treatments using actual magnetic pads: one group used a pad which exposed the entire body to a uniform static, negative pole magnetic field. The other study group used a pad which exposed the participants to a static magnetic field which varied both spatially and pole-wise. The participants received the treatments and were then tracked for a period of six months.
A statistically measurable difference in the reported pain intensity reduction was found for one of the groups using actual magnetic pad treatments. The two groups that slept on actual magnetic pads generally had the greatest improvements in their scores for pain intensity, amount of tender points on their bodies, as well as their functional status at the end of the six month period.
The first magnetic pad group displayed a marked improvement across all 4 outcome measures at both three and six months. The second magnetic pad group displayed similar improvement in all the outcomes at three months, but these improvements were only maintained, and did not increase further, after six months. The fake pad group, and the group receiving standard care exhibited the same.