Magnets are becoming popularized as a method for treating swelling and joint issues, with magnetic therapy growing to a billion dollar business internationally. This is due to massive marketing schemes. Magnet therapy advertisements plagued the June issue of Carolina Country, a free magazine that is distributed by the utility company, Energy United. The magnets were embedded into clothing, which allegedly relieves stiffness and fatigue. The product was essentially thick spandex underwear with embedded magnets. The manufacturer sells a large line of magnet-based "therapies", and they hook their victims using products like the one described. That particular entry-level product was one of the cheaper ones ($9.97) that was merely designed to reel-in gullible people for future marketing.
Here is how the scam works. Customers are beguiled by the fact that the magnets will appear to help, due to the tight and warm spandex wrapping; not the magnets. Attaching a tight spandex bandaging to a swelled area will concentrate healing warmth, and its pressure will help to reduce swelling. This has absolutely nothing to do with magnets, and any sports coach can easily explain it.
It is important to note that the real agenda behind this particular product is simply to introduce the victims to believable "magnet therapy", so that they will eventually be purchasing magnetic bed covers too (above $100), magnetic jewelry, and even magnetic slippers. After all, a tight and warm bandage that helps to relieve a sore knee is obviously indisputable proof that magnetic fields are beneficial to human health. At least, it is the bogus connection that we are supposed to make.
Vendors take advantage of the fact that most people have no idea how magnets work. Thus, they can make claims which have no basis in reality. Here is an example from one of the magnet marketing web sites:
"Magnetic fields attract calcium ions in the blood, which then press against blood-vessel walls for a dilating effect that optimizes circulation. This improves oxygenation of injured tissue to promote healing."
Magnets have no effect on calcium whatsoever, nor calcium ions. Magnets attract only iron and iron containing compounds. They have an attraction to many of the commonly used steels and metals because the metals contain iron. The con men know that mesmerizing terminology like "calcium ions" sells products.
The truth is that studies have repeatedly shown that magnet therapy has no greater benefit than a placebo. That's not to say that the placebo effect isn't a powerful one, but it does mean that a lot of people are wasting massive amounts of money, and funding companies who fraudulently seek to profit from their continued suffering. The warmth generated by the aforementioned product will help to enhance the placebo effect, because the victim believes that he can actually feel it working via the bandage warmth and pressure. Such victims are then likely to become life-long purchasers of these products.
Copper bracelets with magnets have also become popular. They are alleged to assist with joint pains and arthritis, because they contain copper. While copper has been proven to help with these things, it is impossible for enough copper to absorb transdermally from a solid metal object to make any difference.
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