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Mythbuster: Copper bracelets and magnets for arthritis

The soreness and aches of stiff and aching joints are said to be relieved by wearing copper bracelets. Some evidence for their utility in medicine has arisen from the as-yet limited study, but additional studies have also come out saying they have little clinical influence.


The theory behind the therapy is that minute copper particles are absorbed by the skin. As copper is a crucial nutrient that accomplishes this task in the body, this is therefore said to help decrease inflammation in the joints.


However, there is very little proof to back up copper bracelets as a kind of treatment. Since the discovery of copper in the blood, many people have believed that magnets had therapeutic properties and that rheumatism is caused by a lack of copper.


Wearing copper jewellery or undergoing magnet treatment may seem like appealing options for quickly and affordably treating arthritic symptoms. However, research shows that these medications are ineffective for pain caused by arthritis.


Placebo effect:


Copper bracelets and magnetic wristbands have not been shown to reduce arthritic pain or stiffness in research that has been published over the years. Placebo-controlled studies have been conducted for both rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA). Magnets may reduce pain in people with osteoarthritis, according to a few short studies, but these findings have not been confirmed by more extensive research.


The placebo effect, which happens when individuals anticipate and think therapy will work, may be potent. Researchers frequently compare therapies to placebos to rule this out.


Even though copper wristbands and magnetic wrist strips had no appreciable impact on joint pain, swelling, or the development of arthritis, the researchers nevertheless concluded that the products were affordable and had few negative side effects.


Nevertheless, rheumatoid arthritis responds better to earlier therapy, so don't put off visiting a doctor if you start experiencing symptoms.


Scientific evidence:


Researchers provide a concise but comprehensive response to the query of whether wearing copper bracelets can reduce inflammation. They do not appear to have any therapeutic benefit, and there is extensive proof that they do not alleviate pain or inflammation. Such findings came from a 2013 study that examined several coppers and magnetic wristbands worn by rheumatoid arthritis sufferers. The investigation would have discovered it if there had been even just a slight clinical improvement in pain assessments of even 20%, but there was no change.


Remedies for arthritis:


Being an arthritis sufferer may be challenging. The discomfort and swelling could come and go. However, when symptoms do appear, they can be incapacitating and prevent individuals from going about their everyday lives.


Clinical practice recommendations for treating arthritis include some of the following therapies:

a) Cold and heat treatment

b) Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) that are available over the counter (OTC) 

c) DMARDs (disease-modifying antirheumatic medications) for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis corticosteroids

d) Surgery, such as joint replacement


Be aware that these treatments cannot reverse arthritis or stop additional cartilage loss. They could support the management of signs like stiffness and discomfort.


According to the National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health, the following therapies have some supporting evidence:

a) Therapy using massage needles

b) Tai chi 

c) Qi gong 

d) Glucosamine and chondroitin 


Many of the remedies mentioned above are regarded as natural therapy. They could still have negative impacts. To prevent interactions, those who wish to use medications to manage arthritis should speak with a doctor beforehand.




It might be simple to assume that the copper bracelets are effective, even though the claims of health benefits don't provide any solid proof. Influential friends and family members can also be making the same allegations. The placebo effect, a true phenomenon where symptoms will lessen if a person feels that therapy is working, is caused by this conviction in the medical benefits of a scientifically neutral treatment.


Arthritis of any kind may be excruciatingly painful and crippling. Rheumatoid arthritis is one condition that cannot be treated. However, a lot of potent medications can treat arthritis and lessen pain. There are various arthritis treatments available, despite the lack of evidence supporting claims that copper wristbands might relieve arthritic symptoms. 

Dr. Ujjwal Sinha
Meet The Doctor
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