Compression Copper Therapy for Better Health

Compression Copper Therapy for Better Health

Copper has long been considered beneficial to health. It continues to be used to purify water and decontaminate surfaces due to its ability as an algaecide [prevents algae growth], fungicide, nematocide [kills worms], molluscicide [stops growth of certain pests], antibacterial and antifouling agent. 

For centuries, various companies and artisans alike have made beneficial health claims if you wear their copper bracelets or necklaces. Science has always been skeptical of this topical jewelry but recently more technology has enabled copper to be woven into fabrics for compression copper therapy. This addition to basic braces and clothing may be an actual adjunct to relieving pain and increasing mobility. 

Learn about compression copper therapy for better health which could be an excellent way to manage muscle and joint compromises. 

Compression Support

Conventional joint braces have come a long way. Material is more assimilating, capable of extended, effective and long lasting compression. Compression has been a good therapy for support of weak or compromised muscles and joints during exercise or as an after-recovery application. 

According to a report by the Cleveland Clinic, benefits of compression therapy include: 

  • Less muscle swelling
  • Lower sensation of muscle pain
  • Increased lactic acid removal from muscles

“Research shows wearing compression socks between rounds of muscle-damaging exercise may also reduce soreness by not only increasing circulation of lactic acid/metabolic waste within the muscle, but also potentially reducing inflammation as well.”

An archival study published in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance stated that,

“Results indicated small effect sizes for the application of compression clothing during exercise for short-duration sprints (10-60 min), vertical-jump height, extending time to exhaustion (such as running at VO2max [maximum rate of oxygen consumption] or during incremental tests), and time-trial performance (3-60 min). When compression clothing was applied for recovery purposes after exercise, small to moderate effect sizes were observed in recovery of maximal strength and power, especially vertical-jump exercise; reductions in muscle swelling and perceived muscle pain; blood lactate removal; and increases in body temperature. These results suggest that the application of compression clothing may assist athletic performance and recovery in given situations with consideration of the effects magnitude and practical relevance.”

With good results for compression therapy, it makes sense to add copper fibers into compression braces due to its circulation, antimicrobial, and decontamination properties. Although studies are still in progress to determine definitive results of impregnated copper into clothing and braces, observational studies are proving positive.

The Copper Play

Copper compression products (braces, gloves, clothing) are made by weaving thin strands of copper and zinc metal into the fabric. It is claimed that the copper absorbs and maintains heat within the fabric increasing blood flow in conjunction with compression while you exercise or do strenuous activities. 

One popular compression copper therapy brand is Tommie Copper products. Various studies of these products have shown conflicting results. Some claim no benefit at all, while others claim a good pain reduction and improved support response.

One positive study published in the International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation concluded that, 

“This pilot study demonstrates the potential for a Tommie Copper knee sleeve to improve subjective ratings for both knee pain and functional abilities of individuals with chronic knee pain and urge additional research to further study the effects of the combination of compression with copper.”

Improving Vein Function

In addition to using copper compression therapy for exercise and post-exercise applications, it may be a useful tool for avoiding vein vessel compromise and some skin conditions. 

The US Clinical Trial Registry cites a pending study titled ‘Copper Impact on Venous Insufficiency and Lipodermatosclerosis’ by the ICH GCP Group which stated,

“Venous disease has an adverse impact on the quality of life of patients and the NHS spends considerable resources on this chronic condition. Copper has been shown to promote new blood vessel formation and therefore improve blood supply to the affected area and possibly skin conditions. Copper has also been shown to have strong antimicrobial properties.” 

This is good news, particularly for those that may be at risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which can cause serious health consequences, including death.

Compression copper therapy for better health opens new possibilities to using precious metals and other natural substances as wearable therapeutics. From temperature regulation to increased circulation this is just the beginning of merging textile applications with beneficial medical outcomes.