Copper's the right stuff - Empty Nest by Curt Swarm


I've espoused the benefits of copper before. I completely cured the pain in my left elbow by wearing a copper bracelet. I don't even wear it anymore, nor do it need it. The pain is gone.

When my left hip and lower back acted up, and I was diagnosed with degenerative hip disease and two bulging disks, I thought, “What the heck? If copper can work on my elbow, I wonder if it can work on my hip and back.” However, where to find a copper waist belt? I wondered if I could fashion something out of copper. I'm an Iowa farm boy and ex-drunk. If we need it and can't find it or afford it, we make it.

With Ginnie in tow, I went to a hardware store and bought a coil of heavy copper wire. When Ginnie asked what it was for and I told her I was going to fashion a copper wire belt, not only did I get the eye roll, but also a head shake and slumped-shouldered sigh/huff. I think she gets wore out with my eccentricities.

I fashioned a crude copper-wire belt and wore it under my pants. I'm not kidding. It worked! The pain in my hip and lower back began to subside. Then I discovered there are copper infused support items for sale at department stores. I won't mention the name brand because I get in trouble with newspaper editors. They call it “advertising.” But I purchased a copper infused back support belt. Pain gone, 100%. I don't even wear the support belt or copper wire anymore. Gone, adios, sayonara.

When my ankles started hurting from jogging on the treadmill, I remembered seeing the copper infused ankle supports. Presto-changeo, pain gone. I'm wearing the ankle supports right now and my ankles are 100% pain free. They also have copper-infused wraps for knees and elbows.

Now for my right shoulder. My orthopedic surgeon tells me I have a torn rotator cuff. But he also tells me that 75% of men my age (I'm 72) have torn rotator cuffs. He's very discouraging about surgery, telling me my shoulder will be in a sling for six weeks and I won't be able to raise my arm above my head, even after it heals. Considering my level of activity—I like to make metal sculptures out of heavy farm junk—six weeks in a sling is a no-go. To date he's given me three cortisone shots and they last for about six weeks.

My shoulder has been bothering me a lot lately. It hurts so bad in bed at night that it throbs and radiates down into my hand. I've tried physical therapy and I don't want another cortisone shot because too many of those, I'm told, are not good for you. And I don't want surgery or pain pills. I've looked for copper-infused supports for the shoulder but there isn't much. The shoulder is sort of tricky to wrap. I wondered if I could fashion something out of copper wire.

Voila! It's a down right miracle. I fashioned a crude U-shaped copper band to go over my shoulder. To hold it in place I used the “handy-man's secret weapon”--duct tape. Yep. It worked, and fast—like overnight. I'm serious. Pain gone! I can reach the middle of my back with a wash cloth now, something I hadn't been able to do for eons. It's a little awkward wearing the copper wire under my shirt, but not that bad. I'm looking forward to the date when the pain will be gone 100% and I won't even have to wear the copper wire.

I've found a copper infused support t-shirt for the shoulder on-line and I have it on right now. The shoulder pain seems to be subsiding. I am so pleased. Ginnie is wearing copper infused, fingerless gloves (makes her look like a cage fighter) for arthritis in her fingers. She's not as enthusiastic about copper as I am, but she's also from Missouri—the Show Me State.

Before you ask, yes, there are full, copper-infused body suits. For the consummate connoisseur.

Have a good story?  Call or text Curt Swarm in Mt. Pleasant at 319-217-0526, email him at or visit his website at

Curt Swarm, editorial, Empty Nest, fort madison, guest author, Mt. Pleasant, opinion, Pen City Current


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