With 10 million people suffering from arthritis in the UK alone (1), it’s no surprise that hundreds of alternative pain-relieving medicines and therapies can be found on the internet in a matter of seconds.
One particular solution that seems to crop up time and time again is magnetic therapy. Bracelets, bangles, shoe insoles, mattresses… you name it, you can most likely buy a magnetically ‘enhanced’ version that is marketed as relieving arthritis pain.
But with every advert hailing it a ‘must-have miracle cure’, there’s a handful of articles labelling it as nonsense, leaving us wondering; can copper or magnetic bracelets really relieve arthritis pain?
A brief history of magnetic products
The use of magnets to ‘treat’ various diseases and ailments can be traced as far back as the time of the ancient Greeks, who utilised its supposed therapeutic properties to cure eye complaints and treat headaches.
In the thousands of years that have followed, intrigue in magnetic therapy has enjoyed multiple resurgences; from medieval doctors who believed it could treat anything from gout to baldness, to the people of the renaissance period who believed it possessed a living energy capable of fighting infections.
One rather poignant resurgence in the 1970s was partly thanks to Albert Roy Davis’ study on the effects of positive and negative charges on the human body. Davis claimed that magnetic energy could “kill malignant cells, relieve arthritis pain, and even treat infertility” (2).
From this, the sales of magnetic products understandably took off.
What does modern science say about the effectiveness of magnetic bracelets?
With such a rich history, it’s no surprise that the sale of magnetic products for pain relief is a multi-billion-dollar industry worldwide. The vast majority of these products make use of a band or layer of static magnets, which, when placed against the skin, claim to influence the circulation of iron in the blood. This helps to deliver nutrients to the joints and thus relieve pain.
Whilst this may have been deemed plausible many years ago, major technological advancements in the last 50 years have naturally cast doubt on such a theory.
So, what does modern science say?
One highly regarded and frequently referenced study by Dr Stewart J. Richmond tested the effectiveness of a typical magnetic wrist strap sold for “reducing pain and stiffness and for improving physical function in patients with osteoarthritis” (3).
For the study, 45 participants with osteoarthritis were given four bracelets to try in varying orders over a 16-week period; 1 was a standard magnetic bracelet, the second had weakened magnets in, the third had been demagnetised, and the forth bracelet was a placebo.
The participants were asked to complete questionnaires at the beginning of the study, after each bracelet had been worn for 4 weeks, and at the end of the study. The results showed that there had been “no statistically significant therapeutic effect among patients with osteoarthritis” (3). What’s more, there was no effect on physical function or stiffness of joints either.
Or, to put it simply, magnetic bracelets just don’t work.
When reflecting on the science behind magnetic therapy, it’s unsurprising that Dr Richmond’s study ended with this result, as iron in the blood is not attracted to magnets. It’s also unsurprising therefore that the vast majority of research carried out on the effectiveness of magnets for pain relief have drawn the same conclusion as Dr Richmond.
The National Institutes for Health (NIH) conclude that there is no convincing scientific evidence to support claims that magnets can relieve pain of any type, and, according to the NHS, any anomalous results are most likely explained by the placebo effect (3).
Aren’t magnets used in MRI Machines? Surely there is some benefit to Magnetic bracelets?
It’s true that magnets have their benefits in science. In fact, one of the most important components of an MRI system is the magnet. But, unsurprisingly, the two can’t really be compared for one very obvious reason; the strength of the magnet.
The magnets used in MRI machines are incredibly strong, and are capable of producing a large, stable magnetic field of 5,000 to 20,000 gauss (a unit of measurement for magnetic induction). Most magnets marketed for pain relief come in strengths between 300 and 5,000 gauss, which is nowhere near as strong (2).
More importantly to note, whilst MRI Machines are used to successfully detect, diagnose, and assess a variety of conditions and injuries, they are not actually used to treat them or to reduce pain in any way.
Are copper bracelets beneficial for arthritis?
At this point, we can safely discount magnetic bracelets as an effective pain relief treatment for arthritis, but what about copper bracelets?
Copper is undeniably an essential nutrient for the body as it helps form red blood cells and maintain healthy bones. The theory behind wearing a copper bracelet is so that copper can leach into the bloodstream via the skin and boost your body’s copper levels, which in turn would ease joint inflammation.
Once again, this sounds great in theory, but in reality, it isn’t accurate. According to Versus Arthritis, a leading arthritis charity in the UK, the copper in these bracelets can’t be absorbed into your joints in any way and there’s no evidence that arthritis is caused by a shortage of copper in your body in the first place (4).
It seems, therefore, that the use of both copper and magnetic bracelets to treat arthritis pain, in particular, are based upon outdated and disproven sciences.
But all hope is not lost.
There are alternatives to magnetic and copper bracelets that offer a similarly low priced and wearable solution to stop arthritis pain, but with the hugely added benefit of being based on a science that is proven.
The power of Supa-Quartz
Quartz has been well-known as an energy-absorbing mineral for centuries. Even as far back as 1880, Pierre and Jacques Curie noted how quartz naturally absorbed external pressures and forces such as electrical pulses.
Fast forward almost 90 years, a subatomic physicist discovered a special kind of quartz at a meteorite impact site. Unlike quartz that hadn’t been influenced by shock waves released by a meteorite crash, this supa-quartz (or ‘shocked’ quartz) contained millions of holes and traps in its lattice structure.
Upon further inspection, the physicist found that supa-quartz was 100 times more effective at absorbing energy than regular quartz, and he decided to test if supa-quartz could absorb pain impulses better than other treatments.
The results? It could, and it did.
Have you tried QTECH® supa-quartz?
QTECH® supa-quartz bands utilise the very same technology that this physicist discovered 50 years earlier to the same incredible effect. Designed to effectively place themselves between the pain and the brain, every participant in a recent study with persistent musculoskeletal pain reported a reduction in pain within minutes or hours of wearing the device.
In another conducted study, 21 adults with pain from a variety of causes wore the QTECH® device close to the area of pain. 19 of the 21 cases reported rapid reduction or disappearance of pain within 20 minutes to 7 days, with the onset of action sometimes being within a few minutes.
Find out more about how QTECH® can effectively help silence your arthritis pain here.
- NHS. Arthritis. [Online] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/arthritis/.
- Healthline. Do Magnetic Bracelets Help With Pain? [Online] https://www.healthline.com/health/pain-relief/do-magnetic-bracelets-help-with-pain .
- NHS. Copper bracelets and arthritis. [Online] https://www.nhs.uk/news/older-people/copper-bracelets-and-arthritis/.
- Versus Arthritis. Copper Bracelets. [Online] https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/complementary-and-alternative-treatments/types-of-complementary-treatments/copper-bracelets/.