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What Is Tommie Copper?

Tommie Copper Claims It Relieves Inflammation and Arthritis

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Updated December 29, 2012

Tommie Copper Explained

Tommie Copper is a brand of compression apparel that is infused with copper. Tommie Copper was developed and founded by Tom Kallish, a self-described weekend warrior who required back, knee, and hip surgeries following a serious water skiing accident. The accident and subsequent surgeries left him with chronic arthritis pain.

When Kallish looked for compression wear to relieve his debilitating pain, all he could find was bulky, restrictive, medical compression materials that served to make him more uncomfortable, not less so. What do creative people do who can't find what they are looking for? They make their own.

Types of Tommie Copper Compression Wear

The line of Tommie Copper compression wear includes compression sleeves for the ankle, calf, knee, wrist, and elbow. There are men's and women's Tommie Copper compression shorts and shirts. There are fingerless and full-finger compression gloves. Tights, calf socks, and crew socks are also available. A product for the lower back is being developed.

You can view images of each of the products and you can order from the Tommie Copper website. You can also place orders by calling 1-855-866-6432.

Copper Bracelets Versus Tommie Copper Products

You've probably heard of copper bracelets for arthritis pain (not part of the Tommie Copper product line). While the bracelets are not proven to be effective, some people swear that they relieve pain. Actually, researchers have long studied the effects of copper on inflammatory conditions. There have been studies that concluded copper bracelets are ineffective. Are the bracelets merely acting as a placebo in patients who claim they work?

Tommie Copper promotional materials state that copper has been used for thousands of years to help reduce inflammation, grow and sustain connective tissues, and aid in blood flow and oxygen transport. Therapeutic copper compression (TCC) used in Tommie Copper products combines "a patented 56% copper-infused nylon yarn with a proprietary multi-directional compression technology". With their compression wear, Tommie Copper positions the copper directly over the source of the pain or injury.

Tommie Copper products are designed to be worn 24 hours a day, even while sleeping. Benefits of the compression include pain relief, muscle healing, and improved blood flow, while decreasing inflammation and swelling, according to Tommie Copper.

Finding the Right Size

Size charts are available on the Tommie Copper website. It's important to get the correct size so the product will provide adequate compression. While Tommie Copper products are designed to provide gentle compression, a sleeve, shirt, or glove that is too large will not provide the desired benefit. Size matters.

I tried the knee sleeve, but it was too large for me. Unfortunately, because of the improper fit, I cannot attest to any benefit that I personally experienced. I can say that the material is thin and it is easy to see how it could provide gentle compression without being cumbersome.

The Copper Comfort Challenge

Tommie Copper stands behind its products with a 30-day, money-back guarantee. If you try a Tommie Copper product but don't get relief within 30 days of receipt, you can return it for a refund (minus shipping and handling).

Sources:

Bracelets 'useless' in arthritis. BBC News. October 26, 2009.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8310792.stm

Therapeutic effects of magnetic and copper bracelets in osteoarthritis: a randomised placebo-controlled crossover trial. Richmond SJ et al. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 2009 Oct-Dec;17(5-6):249-56. Epub 2009 Aug 28.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19942103

The role of copper in inflammatory disorders. Alan J. Lewis. Agents and Actions December 1984, Volume 15, Issue 5-6, pp 513-519.
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01966765

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