Copper is an essential nutrient the body needs to function. It is found most commonly in the vital organs (heart, brain, liver, and kidneys) as well as in skeletal muscle. It is considered a “micro” mineral due to the small amount that is needed for the body to function. Copper can be found in a variety of foods including whole grains, nuts, seeds, oysters, liver, and several different fish.
The body cannot produce copper, but it is capable of storing it in small amounts. Lately, one of the biggest trends in fitness and pain management is capitalizing on the benefits copper offers to the body, especially when it comes to joint pain. Copper-infused fabric is all the rage, but does it really do what the companies claim?
The Benefits of Copper
Copper offers many benefits to the body. One of the strongest and most profound benefits is that copper supports the immune system, helping to keep the body functioning at its peak and disease free. The benefit most companies lay claim to when it comes to copper-infused, compression braces is that it helps to maintain good bone health. Part of this is reducing or eliminating joint pain.
As a person ages and arthritis or joint deterioration begins to play a role in their level of activity, pain management becomes extremely important. Including more copper-rich foods in the diet is one way to ensure the body has what it needs to maintain optimum joint and bone health, but the claims made by many companies that manufacture copper-infused, compression braces are not quite on the mark.
The Myth behind Copper Braces
Back in the 70′s and 80′s, people wore bracelets made of copper because they were told that copper helped to reduce joint pain. To this day, many people still don their copper bracelets and believe that to some extent they do work.
While there is scientific evidence that backs up the fact that copper does help to reduce joint pain, it doesn’t necessarily imply that the benefits come from “wearing” copper. Most benefits are gained from using supplements that supply the recommended daily allowance of copper or consuming it directly from foods included in the diet.
With all of the hype surrounding the compression braces made with copper-infused fabric, people are being allowed to make the assumption that the braces will help to manage and reduce joint pain. There are very few scientific studies that support the manufacturer’s claims that copper is the beneficial element, and the studies that do exist do not show definitive proof. They are prohibited from claiming that the copper used in their product’s braces either helps or hinders the management of any type of pain.
The Placebo Effect
What these companies rely on is the “placebo effect”. The placebo effect basically involves training the customer to believe the product works by making enough claims using information about the components the product is made with. Because the studies can’t deny the generic claims made by the manufacturers of the braces, they are able to plant the seed of possibility in the minds of individuals who are desperately seeking some form of pain relief.
By giving customers the option to believe that the product works, many people get the desired results because they have trained themselves to believe the claims. When it comes down to it, it isn’t the copper that is helping to control the pain, it is the compression and support offered by the brace, coupled with the person’s belief that the product will work.
It is undeniable that copper-infused, compression braces do offer benefits when a person exercises and can help to manage joint pain. The benefits do not come from the copper, however. The benefits are derived from the use of compression and its ability to stabilize and strengthen the joint during physical activity.
Braces made with copper-infused fabric can be extremely expensive and many people will pay the additional cost because they believe they are receiving the additional benefits copper has to offer. The fact is, in most cases, if the person is looking to effectively manage their joint pain during exercise, a regular compression brace will provide the same level of relief at a fraction of the cost.
~ Health Scams Exposed