Weight-loss belts: Trick

Claim: Belts use heat and/or vibration to tone up abdominal muscles and melt away fat.

Cost: From $18 to about $100

Reality: “Neither heat nor vibration can give you a chiseled middle,” says Dr. Muñoz. What will: “A regular exercise routine – preferably interval training, which revs the metabolism – and a diet rich in whole foods and extremely low in saturated and trans fat, processed food and sweets.”

Breathe Right Strips: It’s a Tie – some Trick and some Treat

Claim: These adhesive strips gently lift the sides of the nose and open nasal passages, allowing more airflow during sleep or exercise.

Cost: Around $12, breatheright.com

Reality: These strips are especially helpful for individuals with a stuffed nose during a cold, says Dr. Muñoz, but they won’t improve the average person’s sleep or workout, and should not be used as treatment for anyone with chronic, severe snoring: “That’s a sign of sleep apnea, a life-threatening breathing condition that requires medical attention.”

YogaToes: Treat

Claim: These gel products stretch toes to relieve pain and pressure from long hours on your feet, high heels and problems like bunions and hammertoes.

Cost: $40, yogapro.com

Reality: “These are a fancy and slightly more expensive take on orthotic toe spacers,” says Dr. Muñoz. “They work by stretching out the muscles and joints in the toes and upper foot, and are safe for people with arthritis in their feet.” They should not be used for more than an hour at a time, and are not safe for people with foot neuropathy because they won’t be able to feel if the spacers become painful or if their toes are misaligned.

Copper bracelets: Trick

Claim: Copper is absorbed through the skin and relieves joint pain.

Cost: $8 to more than $100

Reality: There’s no science to it. “People who notice an improvement wearing them are probably enjoying a placebo effect,” says Dr. Muñoz. A recent study in Complementary Therapies in Medicine showed no difference between people with arthritis who wore copper bracelets and those who didn’t.

Pressure gloves: Treat 

Claim: A pressure glove such as IMAK SmartGlove compress hands and wrists, creating warmth and increasing circulation to reduce pain and promote healing.

Cost: About $20, IMAKproducts.com

Reality: IMAK gloves, which have the Arthritis Foundation’s Ease of Use Commendation, can provide relief to people with arthritis or tendinitis in the hands or wrists. “In addition to increasing circulation, they immobilize the hand slightly, which gives joints and tendons a break,” says Dr. Muñoz. “They’re best when worn for no more than eight hours at a time, and they shouldn’t take the place of physical therapy or other treatment.”

Magnets: Trick

Claim: Magnets relieve arthritis pain by increasing circulation.  

Cost: $8 to more than $100

Reality: “Their efficacy has not been scientifically proven,” says Dr. Muñoz. In fact, a recent study in the Journal of Herbal Medicine found that they were ineffective for treating arthritis-related stiffness and pain.