Diabetes can inflict a great deal of damage to the human body, and that includes nerve damage. Diabetic neuropathy can become one of the most unpleasant effects of the disease if it’s not dealt with. In order to prevent or curb this sort of nerve damage, doctors may recommend regulating blood sugar and exercising. But how does one approach physical activity when coping with the uncomfortable effects of neuropathy?
Compression gloves have been shown to help in this endeavor. Putting pressure on the affected areas will boost blood flow and offer some relief when it comes to pain and swelling. Specifically, copper workout gloves have been shown to help with diabetic neuropathy.
What Is Diabetic Neuropathy and The Connection With Copper Workout Gloves?
Diabetic neuropathy is a phenomenon that’s caused by one’s blood sugar remaining too high for extended periods of time. The nerve damage is marked by unpleasant sensations in various parts of the body. These can range from tingling and numbness to dull or burning pains.
There are four types of diabetic neuropathy, and each one is defined by which parts of the body are impacted. The four kinds of neuropathy those with diabetes experience include the following:
||Peripheral neuropathy most commonly involves pain in the feet and legs, but it can also extend to the back, arms, and abdomen in some cases.
||Those suffering from autonomic neuropathy experience pain in their organs, and more specifically, their digestive systems. This type of nerve damage can also affect blood vessels and the urinary system.
||Proximal neuropathy typically results in pain in the thighs, hips, and glutes, but can also extend down to the lower legs.
||Focal neuropathy strikes suddenly and targets specific nerves. These nerves are often in the head, midsection, or legs. Focal neuropathy can weaken muscles and cause alarming side effects, like vision problems and facial paralysis.
For our purposes, we’ll be focusing on the types of neuropathy that affect the arms and hands. These can be relieved by copper workout gloves, enabling those suffering to move more easily and exercise with less pain. (Of course, similar compression products exist for other areas of the body. They may be worth looking into if you’re struggling with leg or abdomen discomfort.)
Why You Should Use Copper Workout Gloves
Now that you have an understanding of what diabetic neuropathy is and how various types affect the body, it’s time to dive into how compression gloves help. Due to the pressure, it puts on muscles and joints, compression, in general, improves blood flow and eases the pain caused by nerve damage, even if it can’t undo that damage completely. This is why diabetics often turn to tools like compression gloves and compression socks to keep symptoms under control. Of course, copper workout gloves take things a step further. By infusing copper into the gloves, these products bring forth all sorts of benefits.
The high volume of copper in the copper compression gloves is said to soothe muscle tissue. This, in turn, eases any pain or tingling sensations in the muscles in question. For someone with neuropathy, such products can prove to be lifesavers — especially if they’re planning to use those muscles more often to keep their diabetes under control.
The copper in the workout gloves also triggers the delivery of oxygen to the muscles, improving blood flow and mobility. Additionally, it reduces the amount of swelling and inflammation in the area, which promotes healing. Again, the copper gloves won’t undo the nerve damage, but they could heal any further damage that might have been caused by increased movement or stress on the area.
In addition to the benefits they have on the affected muscles and joints, copper workout gloves also make for a comfortable and flexible solution. The material is lightweight enough that it won’t limit the user’s range of movement when exercising. They will, however, still put enough pressure on the body to accomplish what they’re designed to do.
One important thing to note is that there’s a big difference between copper workout gloves that have copper infused in them and similar products that are soaked in copper or have it sprayed onto the exterior. Infused products are the ones you’ll want to go with, as the copper won’t wash off or wear away as quickly.
To recap, the copper workout gloves offer the following physical benefits to those with diabetic neuropathy:
- Increase blood circulation and mobility
- Reduce swelling and stiffness in the joints
- Deliver oxygen to the muscles
- Alleviate joint and muscle pain
- Strengthen your grip
If you’re looking to start an exercise regimen that’s heavy on hand movements — like weight training, for example — it’s easy to see how these effects would help with that. Keep in mind, however, that the benefits of copper compression gloves actually go beyond exercising with diabetic neuropathy.
What Else Do Copper Workout Gloves Help With?
Copper workout gloves almost seem designed with diabetic neuropathy in mind, but they help with a whole host of health issues. Some other ailments they’re often used to alleviate include:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Raynaud’s Syndrome
- Ehler Danlos Syndrome
- Injuries like fractures
All of these ailments have one thing in common: They limit one’s ability to move certain parts of the body. They have that in common with diabetic neuropathy, so it makes sense they’d require similar relief strategies.
Copper workout gloves also help prevent wearers from picking up germs or viruses. The copper in the gloves kills viruses, bacteria, and germs. Given the current situation surrounding the COVID-19 virus, the antimicrobial and antifungal nature of these gloves could be an added bonus for anyone hoping to avoid getting sick.
Types of Copper Workout Gloves
As with most health products, copper workout gloves come in several different shapes and sizes. Which ones you should wear depends on what you’re hoping to accomplish by using them. Here are the differences between the various styles:
|Copper Compression Gym Gloves
||These full-finger copper workout gloves cover the whole hand, and they’re designed to support muscles and joints while tackling strenuous tasks like weightlifting. They can also be used for everyday functions, but they’re specifically crafted with working out in mind. That means you’ll want to grab a pair of these if you’re planning to use these for exercise.
|Semi-Compression Copper Gloves
||Semi-compression copper gloves are made for everyday use, so they’re crafted with comfort in mind. They cover the entire hand, and they improve blood flow and thermal regulation. They can be worn during daily activities, and can help with smaller tasks that drain the muscles and joints, like typing or doing chores, along with larger ones as well.
|Fingerless Copper Gloves
||Fingerless copper gloves increase the flexibility and lightweight nature of regular copper gloves, enabling wearers to go about their daily routines more easily. They still put pressure on the muscles and joints, managing pain and regulation, though they won’t cover the needs of the entire hand.
Other Ways to Ingest Copper
If you’re looking to soothe neuropathy using the benefits of copper, copper compression gloves are probably the best way to go. Of course, copper offers similar benefits when ingested naturally. And there are other ways to boost your copper intake.
If you’re interested in using copper to help with neuropathy, always speak to your doctor first. Copper supplements are only recommended for those with a deficiency, and you always want to make sure you aren’t overdoing it. Copper toxicity can have negative physical consequences, outweighing any relief you could gain from the increased intake.
Of course, there are natural means of getting more copper in your diet. Some foods that contain high levels of it include:
- Whole grains
- Leafy greens
- Black pepper
- Dark chocolate
Getting copper through your diet is a much safer bet than using a supplement. If your main goal is to ease the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy while working out, however, the gloves will be the most useful. After all, they’re designed for exactly that purpose — and the compression helps as well.
Finding the Right Gloves for You
If you’ve decided copper compression gloves are something you’d like to try, they aren’t incredibly difficult to find. A simple Google query will pull up numerous results, as will an Amazon search. A pair will run you anywhere from $20 to $40, and it might be worth spending a few extra bucks if the quality is good. (Remember to make sure the gloves are infused with copper rather than having it on the outside!)
When it comes to assessing the quality of gloves, reading reviews or referencing “best of” lists can point you in the right direction. If your doctor is savvy with such things, that could also be an avenue worth trying. Some medical experts will be able to give you advice or recommendations. From there, it’s all about trying them on and seeing if they work for you.