Copper bracelets are a traditional folk healing method for easing the joint pain of arthritis. The bracelet must fit so that the copper is in contact with the skin around the wrist. It is believed by those who wear copper bracelets that the copper will then be absorbed by the wearer's skin. The belief is that the absorbed copper will act on the joint inflammation to relieve the symptoms of arthritis. There are also copper ankle bracelets that are worn around the ankle to relieve arthritis stiffness there. Copper is one of many nutrient deficiencies that can lead to arthritis, but an excess build-up of copper in the body is known to be harmful for those who have arthritis. Despite a lack of evidence of their benefit, the belief in copper bracelets as a treatment has persisted over the years.
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To ensure that the copper can be absorbed through the skin, the bracelet should have no coating over the copper. Many copper bracelets are made specifically for arthritis relief. These bracelets are wide, and the copper is left untreated so that the bracelet will deliver the maximum amount of copper to the surface of the skin. No study has been done on whether the copper from bracelets is actually absorbed into the body.
Although copper has been used since ancient times to relieve arthritis, there have been no large studies conducted on how well copper bracelets actually work. The few studies have been small and had conflicting results. Some believe that the only effect of copper bracelets is a placebo effect that makes the wearer believe he will feel better with the bracelet on. There have never been scientifically proven effects from wearing copper bracelets.
Copper and Magnets
Some copper bracelets are made with magnets to deliver both copper and magnetic therapy to arthritis pain. The combination of both of these folk remedies is supposed to strengthen the effects of the copper and to provide twice the relief to arthritis symptoms. No studies have found the combination of these two remedies to be effective for relieving any illnesses.