What metal is best for arthritis?
What metal is best for arthritis?
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Do I Have Arthritis?
Think you may have arthritis? Learn about the four most common warning signs.
Gout is an inflammatory type of arthritis that can come and go.
Magnets, Copper Don’t Ease Arthritis Pain
Studies confirm these treatments are ineffective for arthritis pain.
Magnet therapy or wearing copper jewelry may seem attractive for easing your arthritis pain simply and inexpensively. But studies confirm these treatments are ineffective for arthritis pain.
According to studies published over the years, magnetic wrist straps and copper bracelets don’t work on arthritis pain or stiffness.
Placebo-controlled trials have been done in both osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). A few small studies showed that magnets may offer some pain benefit in osteoarthritis, but these results have not been replicated or expanded to larger trials.
“In my research I set out to confuse the heck out of participants so they couldn’t tell which device was real and which was a placebo,” says one researcher, Stewart Richmond, PhD, research fellow at the University of York, in England.
Why Copper, and Why Magnets?
The basic idea with copper bracelets is that our bodies are somehow deficient in the copper and that copper will be leached from the bracelets into the skin to ease joint inflammation. “This stems back to the theory of metallotherapy [from] the mid-19th century, which was debunked through early clinical research,” explains Richmond.
With magnets, the idea is that magnets placed against the skin influence the circulation of iron in the blood, which helps deliver nutrients to the joints. “Again, the more you look into these theories, the more you realize they are just bunkum: Iron in the blood is not ferromagnetic [attracted to magnets], and commercially available magnetic wrist straps will not alter blood flow,” says Richmond. “If such theories were valid, the human body would explode when placed in a MRI machine. Thankfully, this doesn’t happen.”
Don’t Be Fooled
People may be tricked into thinking that devices like these work because of what Richmond calls a very common fallacy in logic. “If people generally try out a new treatment when their symptoms are at their worst, and their symptoms subside, they think ‘Wow! It really worked!’” he says. If people began using these devices when their symptoms were mildest, then the reverse situation would be true, he explains. “People would report that the devices were harmful.”
Magnets and copper bracelets may be safe and inexpensive, but the risk is that patients might use them in lieu of effective treatment, rather than as an ‘add on.’”
Richmond’s study results showed no improvements, beyond the placebo effect, for the magnetic bands or copper bracelets for pain, stiffness, or swelling in RA or OA.
Results of these studies do not surprise Robin Miller, MD, an integrative medicine physician in private practice. “In my experience, these devices do not work any better than placebo,” she says.
Still, like many ineffective treatments, some people will be tempted to try them. «People are always looking for benign treatments, and for people in chronic pain, easy, benign treatments are especially alluring,» says Dr. Miller.
Do Metallic Bracelets Have Health Benefits?
Americans spend millions of dollars on metallic bracelets for their supposed health benefits. Many manufacturers market their products as alternatives to traditional medical care. But is there any truth to these claims?
What Is a Metallic Bracelet?
A metallic bracelet is an accessory, worn on the wrist or ankle, that is part or all metal. Examples include:
- Full metal bracelets (copper, gold, titanium, silver, etc.)
- Magnetic bracelets and wrist straps
- Partial metal bracelets (including the metals to those in the full metal bracelets)
- Metal lookalikes
- Metal-coated and metal-infused bracelets
What Are Metallic Bracelets Used For?
Companies that sell copper or magnetic metallic bracelets claim that their products can ease rheumatoid arthritis pain. Other health claims include:
- Better blood circulation
- Toxin removal
- Pain relief
- Less inflammation through dilation of blood vessels
- Less stiffness
- More energy
- Faster recovery and healing
Metallic bracelets made of different materials have different uses. For example, gold bracelets are said to improve brain function, while silver bracelets may ward off infections and boost the immune system.
The common thing among all these claims is that there is not enough scientific evidence to prove or disprove them. There haven’t been enough studies carried out to show that metallic bracelets don’t work. But most of the research that’s been done has found claims about their effectiveness to be partly or completely false.
A British study tested the pain relief effects of four copper bracelets and magnetic bracelets in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
After 5 months, the subjects said they felt no extra relief from their arthritis pain when using metallic bracelets than when using a non-metallic wrist strap.
The Truth About Metallic Bracelets
Here’s what to know before you buy a metallic bracelet:
- There may be no physical health benefits to wearing metallic bracelets. They serve as placebos that help adjust your mental state when dealing with pain or illness. They do not reduce your pain’s intensity.
- Some people with arthritis firmly believe that they work, despite the lack of scientific proof.
- Buy only from trustworthy suppliers. There have been several cases of poisoning or injury because of metallic bracelets. In most cases, this is because the bracelets were made with counterfeit or harmful materials.
- Very few studies have shown that being in contact with certain metals has mental and physical benefits.
Can You Use Metallic Bracelets?
Metallic bracelets are harmless for most people. But they aren’t for everyone. Avoid them if you:
- Have an electronic implant like a pacemaker or defibrillator
- Wear electronic devices like a Holter monitor
- Use an insulin pump
- Are pregnant
- Are allergic to metals like nickel
American Academy of Audiology: «Magnets, Copper Bracelets, Arthritis, and Placebo.»
American Heart Association: “Devices that May Interfere with ICDs and Pacemakers.”
Arthritis Foundation: «Magnets, Copper Don’t Ease Arthritis Pain.»
Journal of Health & Pollution: «Preliminary Study of Heavy Metals in Low-Cost Jewelry Items Available in Nigerian Markets.»
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: «Notes from the Field: Lead Poisoning in an Infant Associated with a Metal Bracelet — Connecticut, 2016.»
Physiology & Behavior: «Titanium-treated surroundings attenuate psychological stress associated with autonomic nerve regulation in office workers with daily emotional stress.»
PLOS ONE: «Copper Bracelets and Magnetic Wrist Straps for Rheumatoid Arthritis – Analgesic and Anti-Inflammatory Effects: A Randomised Double-Blind Placebo Controlled Crossover Trial.»
Trials: «Magnet therapy for the relief of pain and inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis (CAMBRA): A randomised placebo-controlled crossover trial.»
Are Silicone Rings Good for Arthritis?
There are some people who think about their extremities more often than the rest of us, and a good example is anyone who deals with arthritis symptoms. Whether due to aging or any other underlying cause, arthritis is a condition that most commonly impacts the hands, fingers and other extremities, and those who deal with it may have a number of areas that are different — including the kinds of rings they wear.
At Enso Rings, we’re proud to offer a huge range of silicone rings, from promise rings and engagement rings to fashion rings and even kid-themed rings like our Disney or Star Wars collection. Our rings come with a number of different benefits, including some on the physical side — here are some basics on why silicone rings are often ideal for those with arthritis.
How Arthritis Impacts the Hands
As we noted above, the hands are one of the most common and most visible places for arthritis symptoms, and these can range from a general discomfort to outright pain when gripping, twisting or otherwise using the hands. Some common signs of arthritis in the hands are swelling, stiffness and even deformity as the joints become affected over time.
These deformities often show up in the form of knobs or bumps in the finger joints, and this can make it difficult or even painful to wear many traditional metal rings. Especially when combined with swelling, these rings can feel too tight or could even become completely stuck on the finger, which can be a very serious problem.
Luckily, silicone rings offer several qualities that often make them ideal for those who deal with arthritis in the hands. Our next several sections will go over these.
The number one quality that makes silicone rings ideal for those with arthritis is their overall flexibility. Unlike metal rings, which are designed to stay a certain diameter at all times, silicone rings can be squeezed and stretched as needed — allowing them to fit snugly even when the finger swells or contracts due to the arthritis.
This is especially important for those who may have larger than average knobs or bumps in their finger joints, as the silicone rings will still fit snugly over them — unlike a metal ring, which can often be too small. Furthermore, these same flexibility benefits also make it easier to get the ring on and off in order to give the hand some much-needed rest when needed.
In addition to the flexibility benefits noted above, silicone rings are also much lighter than their metal counterparts. This can be even more of a benefit to those with arthritis in the hands, as any extra weight can sometimes cause additional pain or discomfort.
Silicone rings typically weigh between 3-5 grams, which is substantially less than many metal rings. Furthermore, our rings are also made with a built-in air cushion that helps reduce the weight even further.
For some people with arthritis in the hands, a key approach to remedying symptoms is limiting the weight and pressure that is put on the hands and fingers. Silicone rings offer a great way to do this, as not only are they substantially lighter than metal rings, but they also remove much of the pressure associated with wearing a metal ring due to their flexibility.
Will Break Off if Needed
Unlike traditional metal rings, which are incredibly hard and difficult to break, silicone rings are designed to break off if necessary. This can be a great benefit to those with arthritis, as it means that you can have the peace of mind knowing that no matter how swollen or knobby your finger might get from time to time, you will still be able to remove the ring in an emergency if need be.
For instance, someone with severe arthritis symptoms that have led to a finger joint becoming swollen might find it incredibly difficult to remove a traditional metal ring — but with a silicone band, they can remain confident knowing that the ring will break off if need be.
Some people who deal with arthritis also have sensitive skin, which can make wearing metal rings uncomfortable or even painful. Thankfully, silicone rings are hypoallergenic and naturally reduce the amount of irritation associated with wearing a ring on sensitive skin.
In addition to being hypoallergenic, these material also provide grip — so those who may experience sweaty palms or hands due to their arthritis symptoms can still have a secure grip on their rings.
What to Look for in a Silicone Ring
If you’re someone who manages arthritis in your hands and are looking for the best silicone ring, there are a few key things to look out for.
First, make sure that the ring is made of 100% medical grade silicone — as this ensures that it will be truly hypoallergenic and free from any toxins or other chemicals. You’ll also want to double check that the air cushion included with the ring is solid and secure, as this will help reduce the weight of the ring even further. Finally, make sure you find a size that fits your finger perfectly — as this will ensure that it is comfortable to wear and won’t come off without need.
Overall, silicone rings are an incredibly beneficial option for those who manage arthritis in their hands — offering better flexibility, lighter weight and hypoallergenic properties that make them more comfortable to wear than traditional metal rings. With the right ring on your finger, you can be sure of having a secure and comfortable fit that won’t cause any extra pain or discomfort due to arthritis.
For more on this, or to learn about any of our silicone ring products or services, speak to our team at Enso Rings today.