Is the use of magnets considered conventional medicine complementary and alternative medicine?
Conventional medicine and complementary and alternative
medicine (CAM) are defined in the box below.
CAM and Conventional Medicine
and alternative medicine (CAM) is a group of various medical
and health care systems, practices, and products that are not
presently considered to be part of conventional medicine. Conventional
medicine is medicine as practiced by holders of M.D. (medical
doctor) or D.O. (doctor of osteopathy) degrees and by allied
health professionals, such as physical therapists, psychologists,
and registered nurses. To find out more, see the NCCAM fact
Is Complementary and Alternative Medicine?"
There are some uses
of electromagnets within conventional medicine. For example, scientists
have found that electromagnets can be used to speed the healing of bone
fractures that are not healing well.2,3
Even more commonly, electromagnets are used to map areas of the brain.
However, most uses of magnets by consumers in attempts to treat pain are
considered CAM, because they have not been scientifically proven and are
not part of the practice of conventional medicine.