Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Arthritis: Copper Bracelets, Magnetic Wrist Straps Useless? Trial Raises Doubts Over Alternative Pain Therapy

Date:
October 17, 2009
Source:
University of York
Summary:
Copper bracelets and magnetic wrist straps are ineffective in relieving arthritis pain, according to a new study. Researchers conducted the first randomized placebo-controlled trial on the use of both copper bracelets and magnetic wrist straps for pain management in osteoarthritis -- the most common form of the condition.

Copper bracelets and magnetic wrist straps are ineffective in relieving arthritis pain, according to a new study led by a University of York academic.

Researchers conducted the first randomised placebo-controlled trial on the use of both copper bracelets and magnetic wrist straps for pain management in osteoarthritis – the most common form of the condition.

The devices are used worldwide for helping to manage pain associated with chronic musculoskeletal disorders. The results of this trial conflict with those from previous studies, by showing that both magnetic and copper bracelets were ineffective for managing pain, stiffness and physical function in osteoarthritis. The research is published in the latest issue of the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine.

The trial was led by Stewart Richmond, a Research Fellow in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York, who said: “This is the first randomised controlled trial to indicate that copper bracelets are ineffective for relieving arthritis pain.”

“It appears that any perceived benefit obtained from wearing a magnetic or copper bracelet can be attributed to psychological placebo effects. 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. However, our findings suggest that such devices have no real advantage over placebo wrist straps that are not magnetic and do not contain copper.

“Although their use is generally harmless, people with osteoarthritis should be especially cautious about spending large sums of money on magnet therapy. Magnets removed from disused speakers are much cheaper, but you would first have to believe that they could work.”

The trial involved 45 people aged 50 or over, who were all diagnosed as suffering from osteoarthritis. Each participant wore four devices in a random order over a 16-week period – two wrist straps with differing levels of magnetism, a demagnetised wrist strap and a copper bracelet.

The study revealed no meaningful difference between the devices in terms of their effects on pain, stiffness and physical function.

Magnet therapy is a rapidly growing industry, with annual worldwide sales of therapeutic devices incorporating permanent magnets worth up to $4 billion US.

The trial also involved researchers from the universities of Hull, Durham, and the NHS.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of York. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Stewart J. Richmond, Sally R. Brown, Peter D. Campion, Amanda J.L. Porter, Jennifer A. Klaber Moffett, David A. Jackson, Valerie A. Featherstone, Andrew J. Taylor. Therapeutic effects of magnetic and copper bracelets in osteoarthritis: A randomised placebo-controlled crossover trial. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 2009; DOI: 10.1016/j.ctim.2009.07.002

Cite This Page:

University of York. "Arthritis: Copper Bracelets, Magnetic Wrist Straps Useless? Trial Raises Doubts Over Alternative Pain Therapy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091016094037.htm>.
University of York. (2009, October 17). Arthritis: Copper Bracelets, Magnetic Wrist Straps Useless? Trial Raises Doubts Over Alternative Pain Therapy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091016094037.htm
University of York. "Arthritis: Copper Bracelets, Magnetic Wrist Straps Useless? Trial Raises Doubts Over Alternative Pain Therapy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091016094037.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins