Do copper bracelets really work?

October 25, 2009


I know plenty of people who wear copper bracelets or magnetic wrist bands for their arthritis and swear by them but a new a new study led by a University of York academic says that is all nonsense. This treatment is often called Magnotherapy.

Previous studies have found they relieved the pain but this one showed that both magnetic and copper bracelets were ineffective for managing pain, stiffness and physical function in osteoarthritis.

Stewart Richmond, a Research Fellow in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York, puts any benefit down to a placebo effect. He said “People tend to buy them when they are in a lot of pain, then when the pain eases off over time they attribute this to the device.”

He also issues a caution about the use of magnet therapy, particularly for those with osteoarthritis, and to think carefully before spending large sums of money.  As he points out, “magnets removed from disused speakers are much cheaper, but you would first have to believe that they could work.”


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