If you are a keen runner, boxer, golfer or footballer, pain always seems to be just around the corner, particularly as you hit your 30s. If you play for long enough, aches and pains are bound to develop, and sometimes they can put you out of your favorite sport for good.
There are plenty of ways around chronic sporting pain. You could try intensive physio, yoga, herbal supplements or even pharmaceutical painkillers. However, before you try more drastic solutions, there are more simple options on offer.
Copper compression bands are becoming ever more popular with regular gym-goers and sports lovers, but are they a good pain relief option for athletes?
What Are Copper Compression Bands?
Most sports lovers will be familiar with flexible support bands that can be worn around the elbow, forearms, knees and ankles. They provide an extra level of support for your muscles and joints, helping to protect them against over-stretching, boosting circulation and counteracting swelling.
Copper compression bands take the idea a step further. Along with elasticated fiber, they include an infusion of copper ions within the fabric of the bands.
The Potential Benefits of Copper Compression Bands
The idea behind these bands is that the copper provides a firmer level of support and also has powerful healing properties. For thousands of years, peoples across the world have worn copper bracelets and other jewelry, believing that copper protects against infection and eases pain. For example, you may well have seen arthritis sufferers wearing copper bracelets.
At the same time, the compression provided by such bands helps muscles to function more effectively and promotes circulation to key joints and muscles. They also keep these areas warm, helping to avoid fatigue and muscle damage.
Do These Claims Stack Up?
Modern researchers have provided a boost for those who believe in the healing power of copper. Apparently, copper surfaces do reduce infections in hospitals. It seems that copper has a natural ability to fight bacteria, although scientists aren’t sure exactly why. It may well have similar benefits for muscle fibers during exercise, but this is more controversial.
Compression is also controversial. There’s no doubt that many elite sportspeople swear by them. For example, basketball star LeBron James always wears special compression socks. In LeBron’s case, the socks aim to boost circulation and give him an energy boost. However, researchers have found little evidence to support this idea.
What’s less controversial is the healing potential of compression bands. By compressing injured areas, bands do in fact improve circulation. They can also help to alleviate muscle cramps and they are routinely prescribed to deal with swelling.
Should You Try Copper Compression Bands?
It’s really up to you. The copper almost certainly won’t hurt you and, if you regularly experience pain due to swelling or muscle fatigue, wearing compression sleeves is an excellent idea. They genuinely are a pain relief option for athletes and do relieve pain and promote healing, and are an established tool used by elite sports physiotherapists.
The benefits of adding copper to the mix are not as clear. Copper-infused bands may well be tougher and more resilient than ordinary models, and they may ward off infections, but they aren’t likely to be any better for pain relief. However, if you have exhausted your pain relief options and you are desperate to play your favorite sports, copper compression bands are an option worth trying.
To learn more about another exciting, all natural pain relief therapy check out our article on CBD Oil from hemp HERE.