Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Copper bracelets, magnetic wrist straps fail to help rheumatoid arthritis

Date:
September 16, 2013
Source:
University of York
Summary:
Copper bracelets and magnet wrist straps have no real effect on pain, swelling, or disease progression in rheumatoid arthritis, according to new findings.

Copper bracelets and magnet wrist straps have no real effect on pain, swelling, or disease progression in rheumatoid arthritis, according to new findings from a study conducted at the University of York.

In the first randomised controlled trial to study the effects of copper bracelets and magnetic wrist straps on rheumatoid arthritis, 70 patients with active symptoms each wore four different devices over a five-month period, reporting on their pain, disability, and medication use throughout the study. Participants also provided blood samples, after wearing each device for five weeks, in order to monitor changes in inflammation.

The research published in PLOS ONE, show that both the standard magnetic wrist strap and the copper bracelet provided no meaningful therapeutic effects beyond those of a placebo, which was not magnetic and did not contain copper.

Dr Stewart Richmond, a Research Fellow in the Department of Health Sciences at York, who led the study, said: "It's a shame that these devices don't seem to have any genuine benefit. They're so simple and generally safe to use. But what these findings do tell us is that people who suffer with rheumatoid arthritis may be better off saving their money, or spending it on other complementary interventions, such as dietary fish oils for example, which have far better evidence for effectiveness. Warning people who suspect they may have rheumatoid arthritis to consult their GP and seek early medical treatment, rather than placing faith in such devices, is also important in helping to avoid long-term joint damage resulting from uncontrolled inflammation."

Dr Richmond suggests there are two main reasons why wearers sometimes report benefit: "Firstly, devices such as these provide a placebo effect for users who believe in them; secondly, people normally begin wearing them during a flare up period and then as their symptoms subside naturally over time they confuse this with a therapeutic effect. Pain varies greatly over time in conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, and the way we perceive pain can be altered significantly by the power of the mind."

Magnet therapy is often privately used for the management of chronic pain, with estimated worldwide annual sales of devices exceeding one billion US dollars. The practice of wearing copper bracelets to combat rheumatism has been popular since the 1970s. An earlier study by Dr Richmond and his colleagues, published in 2009, threw doubt on the effectiveness of such devices for osteoarthritis. The present study builds on and extends these findings.


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, Shalmini Gunadasa, Martin Bland, Hugh MacPherson. Copper Bracelets and Magnetic Wrist Straps for Rheumatoid Arthritis – Analgesic and Anti-Inflammatory Effects: A Randomised Double-Blind Placebo Controlled Crossover Trial. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (9): e71529 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071529

Cite This Page:

University of York. "Copper bracelets, magnetic wrist straps fail to help rheumatoid arthritis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130916204222.htm>.
University of York. (2013, September 16). Copper bracelets, magnetic wrist straps fail to help rheumatoid arthritis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130916204222.htm
University of York. "Copper bracelets, magnetic wrist straps fail to help rheumatoid arthritis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130916204222.htm (accessed October 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 18, 2014) Researchers at The National University of Singapore have invented a new microneedle patch that could offer a faster and less painful delivery of drugs such as insulin and painkillers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) The first nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola at a Dallas hospital walked down the stairs of an executive jet into an ambulance at an airport in Frederick, Maryland, on Thursday. Pham will be treated at the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) A Caribbean cruise ship carrying a Dallas health care worker who is being monitored for signs of the Ebola virus is heading back to Texas, US, after being refused permission to dock in Cozumel, Mexico. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) All four suspected Ebola cases admitted to hospitals in Spain on Thursday have tested negative for the deadly virus in a first round of tests, the government said Friday. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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