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Analysis of Copper Bracelets for Arthritis: Do They Really Work?

Does a copper bracelet for arthritis really provide symptom relief? Get a full analysis of the effectiveness of copper jewelry for arthritis treatment.

You’ve probably seen the ads proclaiming that wearing a copper bracelet for arthritis can help relieve pain. It sounds so easy. Buy the attractive copper bracelet featured in the ad and place it on your wrist. Poof! Like magic your arthritis pain is gone. Unfortunately, such claims are more designed to sell product than to provide you with sound medical advice. Is there any truth to the claim that wearing a copper bracelet can reduce arthritis symptoms?

You may be surprised to learn that copper bracelets for arthritis have been used for centuries in an attempt to relieve joint discomfort and pain. Some say this practice dates back to the time of the early Greeks who used copper to relieve aches and pains. There is actually some truth to the idea that copper may play a small role in the pain relief associated with arthritis.

Some animal studies have shown that taking copper supplements by mouth may reduce the progression of joint and tissue damage in arthritis sufferers. Naturally, some enterprising marketers have taken this premise one step further by marketing copper bracelets for arthritis treatment. Unfortunately, the use of copper bracelets for arthritis hasn’t held up under close scientific scrutiny. Only one study conducted in the 1970’s showed that copper bracelets were more effective than placebo at relieving arthritis pain.

Even if a copper bracelet for arthritis won’t cure or even reduce arthritis symptoms, is there any danger to wearing one if you have arthritis? The only real concern would be if have an allergy to copper metal which is not a particularly common. In this case you would most certainly want to avoid this metal. Before placing a copper bracelet against your skin you would want to be sure it’s 100% copper and contains no lead which could be absorbed into the body with negative consequences.

Not surprisingly, there are groups of people who claim that a copper bracelet for arthritis has reduced their symptoms and even cured the disease. Is this the magical power of suggestion at work or is there some truth to the healing power of copper that we have yet to discover? Studies conducted on the effects of copper on arthritis have been rather limited and there is some evidence that copper has both an antioxidant effect as well as a pro-oxidant effect depending on the levels in the body. If it does exhibit antioxidant properties, there’s the possibility it could have a limited, positive effect on arthritis symptoms, although there are many foods that have a higher antioxidant potential without the negative pro-oxidant effect.

Analysis

If you enjoy the look of a copper bracelet on your risk and you don’t have a copper metal allergy, there’s probably no harm in wearing one if you have arthritis, but don’t count on a cure or a dramatic reduction in symptoms. Better hang on to the more conventional treatments for now.

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  1. I wonder if copper reduces the effects of toxic chemicals like chloramphenicol on our metabolism. Chloramphenicol blocks the bodies production of pregnenolone. Pregnenolone deficiency appears to be linked to arthritis.

  2. OK many years back I had a trainer for the Seattle Seahawks tell Me that it depends on what wrist it is worn,if it is worn on the left wrist the the electrical negative ions cannot exit the body,thus it must be worn on the right wrist for any good to become ?

    Whatcha got for that ?

  3. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahhahahahahahahhahahahahhahahhahahahhahahahahhaah

  4. I was troubled thru much of my working life by what described as arthritis. Apon retirement about eight years ago, I started brewing my beer in copper vessels and that pain has completely gone. Maybe it’s just the beer.

  5. I was cynical, but my brother has worn a copper bracelet for 30 years now for joint pains, and when I began to get joint pains in my knuckles, I bought a three dollar copper bracelet and found the pain gone in two days. I can squeeze my finger joints without pain now for the 3 years that I’ve been using the bracelet. But it mustn’t work because the medical test was inconclusive, I don’t think so…

  6. i’ve worn a bracelet off and on for twenty years. it works. if the science can’t prove it then it’s the science thats flawed. I was a sceptic, a work colleage gave me one to try. two days no pain. as i say, over the last twenty years, more on than off.

  7. Very well balanced view. Although evidence is anecdotal and the evidence in favor is not compelling, a true controlled study would require much more than a double-blind protocol. Study subjects would need to be matched according to age, concurrent medical conditions, nutritional status, drug use (particularly NSAIDs and anti-inflammatory medications), gender, and so forth. For now,however, given the lack of evidence for harm, I think it’s worth a try.

  8. I have severe degenerative arthritis in the CMC joint of both hands; the left has no more cartilage and the right is becoming the same. I bought stainless steel magnetic bracelets yesterday and the left hand doesn’t seem to hurt as much as it did previously. I’m currently staying at a resort town on Lake Michigan and the humidity and dampness along the lakeshore has an effect on arthritis just as rainy weather and winter season does. I noticed that up here the first day.

    The bracelets are certainly worth a try. I was a bit skeptical, thinking maybe/maybe not, but even if the relief is my “imagination” then I’ll still keep wearing them. I doubt magnetic or copper is going to completely cure anyone’s arthritis, but any pain relief you could get would be very welcome.

  9. I know that copper really works. Check out http://www.watchdoctorcopper.com as there is a great page of information. Also check out http://www.watchdoctorcopper.com/4-language-pack.php

  10. I have athritis in my knees and neck, would a copper bracelet help? Or is it designed purely for people with athritis in their wrists/hands.

  11. I’d like to get one…hell, I need 100 !!!!, my arthritis is kicking my arse!! We are having the wettest summer ever in Stamford, CT….

  12. I wear one, turns my wrist green but the knuckle pain went away,I put it away,several months down the road I started to get tennis elbo,put it back on and a few days pain went away,,placebo or not I dont care it is working for me and I bet it will work for the worst skeptic as well,,

  13. I am a little skeptical about buying a bracelet for pain.
    Should I consult my doctor before purchasing??
    Is there any bracelets for pain that do not have magnets??

    Thank you,

    Charlotte

  14. I don’t usually believe in these things but my wife suffers from Gout and have attacks at least twice every year esp when she eat beef. Her friend gave her a copper bracelet and she\\\’s been weearing it for almost 1.5 years now and no gout attacks so far.

    Hey if works, then use it.

  15. I find it interesting the way there is ongoing controversy about copper bracelets and whether they relieve pain. It was never presented that way to me to begin with, so I never thought that. For most of my life, I assumed wearing copper was an old wives’ tale–soemthing that kept the arthritis demons at bay. I had no idea until about 12 years ago that there was any possible medical backing. What I read then (from MDs) was that SOME people who have osteoarthritis also have a copper deficiency and SOME of those don’t gain sufficient copper through supplements, but the copper that is absorbed through the skin does amend their deficiency. The doctors had no idea why this would help the arthritis itself, but said that some people swore by it, and there was no harm, so why not?
    This report caught my eye because I was just beginning symptoms of arthritis (at 43) and I know I do tend to run deficiencies and don’t always assimilate supplements well. So I tried it, and it kept all symptoms at bay for 10 years. I never thought it was a cure, or would keep arthritis away for life, (let’s face it–old joints are going to wear out) and sure enough, it has begun bothering me some again now. But I do know the copper still makes a difference, because I was getting worse and then remembered I had lost my ring (I wear a ring, not a bracelet) weeks before, and hadn’t bothered to replace it. I did, and now I’m better again, but now I also have to take glucosamine chondroitin.
    I never had the idea that copper has anything to do with pain, or that it would work for any except those who might have copper deficiencies. Case in point–my husband, significantly older than I am, with worse arthritis, wasn’t helped at all by copper. My mother was, for a long time. The point is, try it. Decide if it works for you, but don’t expect it (or indeed, anything!) to work for everyone.

  16. I am quite sure that for at least one person, my mother, wearing a copper bracelet could relieve her pain. I am also quite sure that the medical community has no idea what condition this is relieving, as they state they don’t know it works. So you should not expect it to work for you unless you have the condition relieves, and that is not known. Only the symptoms are known.

    An unexpected test was done on my mom, roughly equivalent to a double blind test, that showed that it worked. What happened is that a friend gave my mom a copper bracelet to wear in place of the copper wire she normally wore. It was just plain copper wire, and the bracelet would look ‘nicer’. What neither of them knew was that the bracelet was coated with lacquer, or something similar, and there was no copper to skin contact. It was not until the symptoms returned, and they realized it was not working, that they looked to see why.

    My mom’s physical body chemistry was not ‘normal’, in that she could not wear a watch and have it run. This was 40 years ago, and I am talking about a normal mechanical wrist watch. Within a week of her putting it on, it would quit working. She never found a wrist watch she could wear. I think she did have success with a small watch, encapsulated in plastic, that she wore on a necklace.

    So I believe that there is a condition people can have that wearing copper will relieve. I don’t know what that condition is. I know the symptoms are ‘arthritis – like’.

  17. I have had excellent results from wearing copper bracelets.
    My father was also a firm believer in the copper and he wore copper bracelets to relieve the pain he had in his hands and wrists.
    In 2001 I fell and broke my left wrist and was having problems with the pain and so my dad made me a copper bracelet.
    Well, I just tucked it away because I thought it was all in his head and then one day in 2006 I started having severe pain in my hands, knuckles and wrists and I was miserable for a week and then I remembered the bracelet and put it on that night before I went to bed.
    Well the next morning I woke up pain free, so of course I was scared to take the bracelet off and wore it for about a week.
    Then I had some place to go where I needed to get dressed up and I thought the bracelet just didn’t go with what I was wearing and so I took it off and forgot about it.
    Well a day later the pain was back, so I put the bracelet on again and within a couple hours the pain was gone again.
    Needless to say, I wear the copper bracelet all the time now and I found that it only works on the hand of the wrist that I wear it on and sometimes I find myself switching the bracelet back and forth on which ever hand I’m having the most problem with, but usually on the left.
    I have arthritis in my lower back also and even though I wear the bracelet, it doesn’t help the lower back and have often wondered that if I could find a copper belt, maybe it would help, but it would need to be against the skin.
    It’s not a “cure”, because when you are not wearing the copper the pain will come back, but it really does work for a temporary fix and will continue to work as long as you are wearing it.
    Make sure you have the pure copper though, as I’ve tried copper filled and the only copper filled that worked was one with copper and brass. I’m told that brass is an alloy of copper so maybe that’s why.
    Good luck and I hope it helps others like it has myself.

  18. A Norwegian friend told me last night that he wore a copper bracelet for arthritis and it completely cured him. that was thirty years ago when he started.

  19. When working at a customers house installing her heating system she complained alot about her arthrites in her hands.
    They looked very swollen, I mentioned about copper bracelets and how they might help.
    I let her have on off cut of my pipe which fitted her finger just right.
    Within two weeks her hand had dramatically changed, with the pain reduced aswell. She was so happy as she had tried various meds but nothing had worked so well.

  20. I’m 70 and have arthritis in my right hand which was painless but I couldn’t make a fist. Recently I had a sore right elbow which I think is arthritis. I remembered a copper bracelet I had from 50 years ago and put it on. After two days the pain in the elbow was gone and I can make a fist with no problem. I say copper works.

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