What is Copper 1?
By wrapping its strap under your kneecap and tightening, Copper 1 and its copper/titanium-infused pressure pad promise to use compression to support and lift the patella, improve tracking, and provide instant relief from pain.
In fact, the manufacturer even claims that Copper 1 can help reduce recovery time. And with its discreet design, we’re told it hides under your clothes, so no one will know you’re wearing it.
Its fully adjustable strap can also help ensure Copper 1 remains in place while you exercise and go about your day, so you can live pain-free and enjoy being active again.
There’s no question that frequent knee pain can impact your fitness—and even your everyday life—in many negative ways. But does Copper 1 really represent a brilliant solution to kneecap pain, or is it just an average, everyday product with tons of competition?
Before handing over your credit card details, help yourself make a more empowered purchasing decision by reading what we learned during our research.
What Causes Kneecap Pain?
When pain occurs around the front of the knee around the kneecap, without any signs of trauma or damage, it’s formally known as patellofemoral pain syndrome.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, patellofemoral pain can be caused by many different factors, since the knee is such a large and complex joint. However, common causes include overuse from vigorous physical activity, as well as abnormal tracking (called patellar misalignment)—itself generally caused by muscle problems in the hip, legs, or feet.
As a result, those with this condition may experience pain during exercise, or after sitting for a long period of time or changing activity level. Other common symptoms include popping or crackling sounds in the knee and buckling, where your knee suddenly can’t bear your weight.
Outside of this syndrome, kneecap pain can also be caused by dislocation, loose cartilage, osteoarthritis, and patellar tendonitis (caused by overstressing your patella tendon).
With some many potential diagnoses, this is why it’s vitally important for you to speak with your doctor in advance.
While you wait for your appointment to roll around, though, are there other products like Copper 1 that should be on your list?
Are There Other Devices Like Copper 1?
There are perhaps hundreds of all-but-identical options available to Copper 1, which you can see for yourself by searching online for “sports knee strap,” “kneecap strap,” “patella strap,” and “jumper’s knee strap.”
In fact, these types of devices are so popular that you’ll likely find an option or two at local big box retailers that feature sporting goods sections. Is Copper 1 meaningfully different?
With most of the competition, you’ll find the same adjustable strap and padded section featured in Copper 1. Most don’t claim to feature its copper and titanium-infused fabric, though, although this will only address odor and strength; not necessarily anything related to performance or improved recovery.
Regardless of the company it comes from, what level of relief might you reasonably expect from a product like Copper 1?
Are Patellar Bands Like Copper 1 Clinically Proven to Work?
As far as effectiveness, it almost goes without saying that any treatments that will effectively address pain largely depend on what’s causing the pain in the first place. After all, pain is simply a signal that something’s wrong; not specifically what’s wrong.
Regardless, if you’ve been diagnosed with patellar misalignment or patellofemoral pain syndrome, can an under-knee strap like Copper 1 deliver some relief?
According to Breaking Muscle, “Past research has shown infra-patellar [under knee] straps are questionable regarding PFPS,” although there is limited evidence that they might delay the “onset timing of the vastus lateralis (VL)” leg muscle.
In layman’s terms, based on clinical data, they might provide more benefit for the outside muscle in your leg than for your kneecap pain (unless your kneecap pain is caused by this muscle overuse).
With this said, we didn’t encounter any clinical evidence from authoritative websites during our research supporting the claim that patellar straps like Copper 1 can meaningfully reduce recovery time.
Since most patellar straps come with the same level of clinical efficacy, will you pay more for some than others? Where does Copper 1 fall in the spectrum?
How Much Does Copper 1 Cost?
One Copper 1 patellar stabilizer strap is priced at $19.99, plus free S&H. During checkout, you can order a second device for an additional $7.95 fee.
Comparatively, you’ll find that most of the competition is priced somewhere between $10 and $20.
All Copper 1 purchases come with a 30-day money back guarantee, less S&H, which you can request by calling 888-326-0975.
Based on everything we’ve discussed so far, what’s the next logical step?
How Can You Decide If Copper 1 Is the Right Solution?
As we mentioned earlier, if you’re experiencing chronic pain, regardless if it’s in your kneecaps or anywhere else on your body, the first person you should speak with is your doctor.
Not only can they help you determine the cause of your pain through testing, but they can also help you formulate a treatment plan based on your diagnosis. This includes feedback as to whether or not the implementation of any third-party products like Copper 1 might provide relief.
With this said, since knee bands put pressure on the patella tendon and also support the kneecap, they have been reported to help some consumers experience pain relief from conditions like Osgood Schlatters (inflammation just below the knee), patellar tendonitis (also known as Jumper’s Knee), and chondromalacia patella (deteriorated cartilage; also called Runner’s Knee).
Don’t think that the compression used by compression garments is the same type you’ll receive with Copper 1, though. While the former has been shown to boost circulation, the latter is only intended to relieve tendon pressure.
Pro tip: Also, keep in mind that there are double knee straps available, which cover the lower and upper kneecap, might be ideal if you suffer from Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS; inflammation and irritation of the Iliotibial tendon).
Functionally, while some kneecap bands feature slightly different designs, you probably shouldn’t expect meaningful performance differences between each manufacturer.
Given this (as consumers ourselves), we’d recommend focusing on value instead.
For example, you can likely find similar kneecap band options at local stores, which could help you save money on S&H charges (especially important if you decide to process a refund), while giving you the opportunity review different options in-person before making a decision.
On top of this, based on the fact that Copper 1’s price is on the higher end of the spectrum, you might be able to find competition (local or otherwise) that’s meaningfully less expensive.