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Thread: Ionized Bracelets for Pain Relief? Save Your Money/No Difference Between Ionized Bracelet and Placebo for Musculoskeletal Pain Relief

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    Senior Member Max's Avatar
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    Ionized Bracelets for Pain Relief? Save Your Money/No Difference Between Ionized Bracelet and Placebo for Musculoskeletal Pain Relief

    Ionized Bracelets for Pain Relief? Save Your Money
    Wed Nov 13,11:19 AM ET
    By Kathleen Doheny

    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Although some consumers swear by the pain-relieving power of ionized bracelets--devices made of copper and zinc and widely sold over the Internet--a new study has found no evidence that they work, Mayo Clinic researchers report.



    The study is published in the November 2002 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings and was presented at the American Academy of Family Physicians (news - web sites)' annual meeting in San Diego in October.


    The bracelets are promoted as a natural way to keep the body's energy force, or qi (pronounced chee), healthy. The bracelets work, advocates say, by balancing qi's negative and positive components, called yin and yang. As long as yin and yang are in balance, you remain in good health and pain-free, believers say.


    To test that claim, the research team from Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, studied 610 patients, average age 48, who complained of some type of musculoskeletal pain, affecting such areas as the neck, lower back, elbows, wrists or feet. Half wore the ionized bracelets and half wore a bracelet that looked like an ionized model but was not, said Dr. Robert L. Bratton, the lead researcher and an assistant professor in the department of family medicine at Mayo. No one knew which bracelet they were wearing, nor did the researchers.


    "We measured their pain rating over the course of the month," Bratton told Reuters Health. The subjects self-reported their pain six times during the 28 days. "There was improvement in both groups, but no difference between the two," he said. Both groups reported significant improvement in their pain.


    Wearing an ionized bracelet is no more effective than wearing a placebo bracelet, Bratton concluded, although the study does support the idea that placebo can help pain.


    Bratton noted that the bracelets are expensive, generally costing $50 and up. The belief that it will work, he said, may be as important as anything. "I think that people would do just as well to put a rubber band around their wrist, if they believe it will reduce their pain." In an initial survey, 80% of the 409 study participants who responded said they did believe the ionized bracelet could help reduce their joint or muscle pain.


    Bratton's golf buddies inspired him to do the study, he said. They kept asking him if the bracelets might help after observing so many professional athletes wearing them.

    [This message was edited by Max on Nov 13, 2002 at 08:32 PM.]

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    Senior Member Max's Avatar
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    No Difference Between Ionized Bracelet and Placebo for Musculoskeletal Pain Relief

    No Difference Between Ionized Bracelet and Placebo for Musculoskeletal Pain Relief
    Library: MED
    Keywords: MAYO CLINIC PROCEEDINGS IONIZED BRACELET ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
    Description: Researchers from Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., report wearing ionized bracelets for the treatment of muscle and joint pain was no more effective than wearing placebo bracelets. (Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Nov-2002)



    JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Nov. 8, 2002 -- Researchers from Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., report wearing ionized bracelets for the treatment of muscle and joint pain was no more effective than wearing placebo bracelets in the November 2002 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

    Authors of the published study randomly assigned 305 participants to wear an ionized bracelet for 28 days and another 305 participants to wear a placebo bracelet for the same duration.

    The study volunteers were men and women 18 and older who had self-reported musculoskeletal pain at the beginning of the study. Neither the researchers nor the participants knew which volunteers wore an ionized bracelet and which wore a placebo bracelet. Bracelets were worn according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Both types of bracelets were identical and were supplied by the manufacturer, QT, Inc.

    Participants self-reported their pain for each location where they felt it with a score of 1 to 10 before wearing a bracelet. They self-reported their pain again after wearing a bracelet for one day, three days, seven days, 14 days, 21 days and 28 days. Researchers were interested in both the change in the self-reported pain score for the location of greatest pain and the change in the sum of the pain scores for all self-reported painful locations.

    Both groups reported significant improvement in pain. However, researchers found no difference in the amount of self-reported pain relief between the group wearing the ionized bracelets and the group wearing the placebo bracelets. The study authors conclude that the equivalent, subjective improvement in pain scores calls into question the true benefit of using an ionized bracelet.

    Principal investigator Dr. Robert Bratton, from the Department of Family Medicine, says the study was important because so many patients are interested in alternative medicine. "We need to look at what our patients are doing for their various problems," he says, "and undertake objective, controlled studies to prove whether or not these treatments are beneficial."

    The study authors say that although their goal was not to assess the effectiveness of placebos, their results did support the benefit of placebos in the treatment of pain. They also note that 80 percent of the 409 participants who answered an initial survey question about the use of ionized bracelets stated they believed the bracelets can reduce joint or muscle pain.

    The study was conducted between 2000-2001. It won the Florida Academy of Family Physicians first-place award for research in October.

    Mayo Clinic Proceedings is a peer-reviewed and indexed general internal medicine journal, published for more than 75 years by Mayo Foundation, with a circulation of 130,000 nationally and internationally.
    ###

    Mayo Clinic is a multispecialty medical clinic in Jacksonville, Fla. The staff includes 328 physicians working in more than 40 specialties to provide diagnosis, treatment and surgery. Patients who need hospitalization are admitted to nearby St. Luke's Hospital, a 289-bed Mayo facility. Mayo Clinics also are located in Rochester, Minn., and Scottsdale, Ariz. Visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/news/ for all the news from Mayo Clinic.

    Contacts:
    Erik Kaldor
    904-953-2299
    kaldor.erik@mayo.edu

    John Murphy
    507-207-284-5005 (days)
    507-284-2511 (evenings)
    newsbureau@mayo.edu

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