In Reply: We agree with Drs Burkhart and Burkhart
that one of the potential sites of electromagnetic radiation's effect is the
lipid membrane surface of cells. We would like to point out, however, that
the magnetic field from permanent magnets is not the same as electromagnetic
radiation. Instead, it is a simple static magnetic field.
In response to Dr Weintraub, Table 1 in our article includes additional
diagnoses found in our patients. The single patient with fibromyalgia also
had low back pain that was consistent with spondylosis. It is true that imaging
findings associated with spondylosis, as well as herniated disks, are often
found in asymptomatic individuals.1 However,
it does not follow that our patients, with these findings should be asymptomatic.
We feel that the pain from spondylosis is well accepted and certainly more
so than "failed back surgery syndrome."2- 3
The issue of secondary gain is present in all studies of patients with pain.
We made an effort to exclude individuals who were actively seeking disability
payments or involved in litigation. In practice, it is impossible to avoid
the influence of ubiquitous secondary gain.4
We look forward to the results of Weintraub's nationwide study.