Ask a PT: Does copper infused gear work?

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copper infused clothingWe’ve been getting this question a lot recently! Copper infused gear or Tommie Copper has expanded from the original braces and neoprene type sleeves for sore joints to clothing that is supposed to have the ability to keep your body warm and provide therapeutic benefits for pain, improve performance, and hasten recovery. By weaving copper and zinc metal that absorbs and maintains heat into their fabrics, Copper gear has the ability to blend heat with compression while you work out. While any sleeve or brace can feel like it gives extra support and feels good, know that there is no scientific evidence supporting any of their claims and in fact, studies prove it does not provide pain relief. If it makes you feel better, go ahead and try it; the only thing you have to lose is the cost of the gear. It will not make anything worse, but realize it may not make any noticeable difference. If you are naturally warm and have trouble cooling yourself during a tough work-out or are working out in a hot environment (and also if you are having an MRI), leave copper infused gear at home.