Copper Fit Smart Balm from Idea Village is a roll-on application that claims it contains all-natural ingredients that will reduce inflammation and swelling and will quickly stop pain anywhere on your body you put it. Copper Fit Smart Balm says it’s perfect for sore muscles, spasms, swelling, sprains, strains, and joint pain and it’s been proven effective by a double blind placebo controlled study.
What is in Copper Fit Smart Balm That Makes it Stop Pain?
Copper Fit Smart Balm states its ingredients are natural and free of parabens (parabens are a common preservative in many cosmetics that some fear is associated with breast cancer but is still considered safe by the FDA). Let’s take a look at the specific ingredients in Copper Fit Smart Balm and see if there is any scientific evidence to back up their claims, shall we?
They claim: “Acts as a vasodilator by relaxing arterial smooth muscle and aids in skeletal muscle relaxation.”
Science says: Magnesium is a mineral that is abundant in the human body responsible for blood pressure, heart health, bone strength and more. There is some evidence that a magnesium deficiency can be associated with fibromyalgia and osteoporosis, but we couldn’t find any unbiased studies showing it had any effect on pain when rubbed on the skin.
They claim: “Effective relieving pain associated with osteoarthritis and enhancing cartilage repair.”
Science says: This is another molecule prominent in our bodies that has been used to treat joint pain. Studies have shown Chondroitin is promising for osteoarthritis but its long-term safety and benefits are still unknown.
They claim: “Effective in relieving pain associated with osteoarthritis.”
They claim: “Anti-inflammatory; helps reduce inflammation and pain associated with osteoarthritis.”
Science says: MSM (short for methylsulfonylmethane) studies are scarce but a Japanese study conducted on mice showed less degeneration of knee cartilage on those rodents that received standard doses of MSM.
They claim: “Effective in reducing pain associated with osteoarthritis.”
Science says: Camphor is a popular folk remedy for pain and an ingredient in products like Vic’s Vapo-Rub. It is approved by the FDA for pain and appears to be effective for osteoarthritis as well.
They claim: Antiociceptive and anesthetic effects when applied topically; enhances blood flow.”
Science says: Menthol does have a “cooling” effect on the skin, which may serve as a distraction but doesn’t tackle the underlying pain.
They claim: “Exhibits anti-inflammatory activity and enhances blood flow of cutaneous vessels and aids dermal absorption.”
They claim: “Enhances drug delivery across the dermal layer.”
Science says: According to Medline Plus, there isn’t enough evidence about any medicinal claims to rate its effectiveness.
Grape Seed Oil
They claim: “Extract aids in healing of damaged tissue; has oxidative capabilities.”
Science says: Grape Seed oil is full of antioxidants and an Ohio State University study found it helped wounds heal faster when applied to the skin.
They claim: “ATA up regulates the anti-oxidative activity within the dermal layer and prevents lipid peroxidation.”
Science says: Vitamin E does not appear to reduce pain in people with osteoarthritis.
They claim: “Has antiociceptive and anesthetic effects by blocking resting or inactive voltage gated sodium channels.”
Science says: Thymol (aka thyme oil) may help with acne or skin diseases.
Conclusion: Many of the ingredients, while popular folk remedies, have little scientific evidence to back their pain relief claims, with the exception of camphor and menthol.
P.S. In spite of the name, Copper Fit Smart Balm doesn’t appear to contain any copper and appears to be a re-branding of Copper Fit Gel.
The Copper Fit Smart Balm Clinical Study
Copper Fit Smart Balm does point to a double blind placebo controlled study that appears to show “significant increases in pressure threshold compared with Placebo”; however, it should be noted that this study was not conducted with Copper Fit Smart Balm. Rather, it was conducted with Ben-Gay Ultra Strength Muscle Pain Ointment, Professional Therapy MuscleCare Roll-on, Motion Medicine Cream, and a placebo.
Also, as we noted in our article about the Placebo Effect, the effect of applying a solution to the skin that has a cooling sensation may help with the psychological relief of pain.
FDA Warnings on Topical Pain Relievers
In 2012, the FDA issued a consumer warning about topical pain relievers after more than 40 cases of burns were reported with products containing ingredients listed in Copper Fit Smart Balm, particularly menthol. Some were severe enough to include blistering and requiring hospitalization.
"There's no way to predict who will have this kind of reaction to a topical pain reliever for muscles and joints," Jane Filie, M.D., a medical officer in FDA's Division of Nonprescription Regulation Development (DNRD) was quoted as saying in the release.
The FDA recommends that you don’t apply these products to broken or irritated skin, don’t use in conjunction with a heating pad, and avoid the eyes, nose or genitals. You may experience warming or cooling, but if it becomes painful, wash it off immediately and report it to the FDA MedWatch program.
How Much Does Copper Fit Smart Balm Cost?
Copper Fit Smart Balm retails for $14.99 plus $4.99 shipping and handling for a total of $19.98. It is covered by a 30-day money back guarantee, minus the $4.99 shipping and what it costs you to send it back.
Bottom Line: Is Copper Fit Smart Balm a “Smart” Way to Relieve Pain?
As we tried to show you with the above ingredient listing, Copper Fit Smart Balm doesn’t appear to have any natural “magical” pain relieving ingredients you couldn’t find in any other over-the-counter pain and muscle rubs; in fact their own clinical study compared it to common rubs like Ben Gay.
These types of products can help with mild to moderate pain, including delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), which happens after a hearty workout; however, you should always stop working out if you are in extreme pain.
Again, if you have any adverse reactions like burning or blistering, discontinue using Copper Fit Smart Balm immediately.
We hope this helps – let us know your experience with Copper Fit Smart Balm below!
You may also want to read: WARNING: This Article Has NOT Been Evaluated by the FDA!