Papi F, Ghione S, Rosa C, Del Seppia C, Luschi P.
Dipartimento di Scienze del Comportamento Animale e dell’Uomo, Universita di Pisa, Italy.
To assess the effect of a magnetic treatment on pain perception, we compared the sensory threshold in 18 healthy volunteers. We determined the threshold by noninvasive electrical stimulation of the tooth pulp and skin before and after exposure to an altered magnetic field of low intensity and to a sham treatment. Five different parameters were recorded: the sensory and pain thresholds for the tooth and the sensory, pain, and tolerance thresholds for the skin. Two hours of exposure to a weak, oscillating magnetic field induced a significant decrease in three parameters (dental sensory and cutaneous pain and tolerance thresholds), whereas the other two parameters showed a similar tendency. When the same subjects were exposed to a sham treatment, only marginal, nonsignificant variations in all parameters were observed. These results represent the first piece of evidence that weak alterations of the magnetic field may induce hyperalgesia in humans.