Injury type: Acute/ Chronic

Category: Lifestyle Options

Rating: No research

What is it?

A necklace that contains magnets or magnetically charged beads. They are worn around the neck, either continuously or for periods throughout the day and/or night.

How does it work?

Electricity is always connected with both electrical and magnetic forces. Even though their forces are small, the main therapeutic purpose of magnets is purported to enhance bone and/or tissue healing. Human tissue contains charged molecules that may respond to the charge of magnets. When held against the skin, magnets may relax capillary walls, thereby boosting blood flow to the painful area. They may also help prevent the muscle spasms that underlie many forms of pain. It apparently achieves this by interfering with muscle contractions. Also, they may interfere with the electrochemical reactions that take place within nerve cells, impeding their ability to transmit pain messages to the brain.

Is it effective?

A recent systematic review1 which updated evidence on passive physical modalities for people with neck pain and associated disorders reported no new evidence associated with the effectiveness of magnetic necklaces. Based on historical and current evidence, it is suggested that magnetic necklaces result in similar outcomes as placebo (dummy) necklaces.

There have been no studies investigating the effect of magnetic necklaces following whiplash. A systematic review of existing clinical practice guidelines2 summarised the recommendations for the management of whiplash. While two guidelines highlighted a lack of evidence for magnetic necklaces, one of them recommended against its current use. Other guidelines related to whiplash management did not address this intervention.

Are there any disadvantages?

There has been no research on the disadvantages associated with magnetic necklaces. There is a cost associated with purchasing the necklace.

Where do you get it?

Magnetic necklaces are available via many sources including the internet, medical suppliers and pharmacies/chemists.


The use of magnetic necklaces for whiplash cannot be recommended based on the current scientific evidence. More research is required before concrete recommendations can be made.