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Special Bracelets Don't Help Arthritis Patients

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They may be popular, but magnetic wrist straps and copper bracelets don't relieve arthritis pain, says an English study.

It included 45 osteoarthritis patients, aged 50 and older, who used a copper bracelet, two types of magnetic wrist straps and a demagnetized wrist strap. They wore each of the devices in random order over 16 weeks, BBC News reported.

None of the patients reported any improvements in pain, stiffness or physical function, said the University of York researchers. The findings appear in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine.

"It appears that any perceived benefit obtained from wearing a magnetic or copper bracelet can be attributed to psychological placebo effects," said study leader Dr. Stewart Richmond, BBC News reported.

"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," he said. "However, our findings suggest that such devices have no real advantage over placebo wrist straps that are not magnetic and do not contain copper."

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