At NMCI, our Acupuncturists have years of experience in providing treatment that relieves pain from injuries to the spine, extremities.
Acupuncture is the practice of placing very thin needles through the skin in specific locations of the body for the purpose of healing and relief of symptoms. This practice is several thousand years old and is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. As practiced today it is often combined with other interventions, such as sending a small current of electricity through the needles or burning herbs on the acupuncture points.
Acupuncture is based upon the Eastern philosophy of chi (also spelled qi), which is the Chinese term for the life force or vital energy. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) chi flows through pathways in the body known as meridians. Illness results from the flow of chi through the meridians being blocked, or by the two types of chi (yin and yang) being out of balance. Acupuncture is the practice of placing thin needles at acupuncture points, which are said to coincide with points at which meridians cross, to improve the flow and restore the balance of chi.
These treatments are done in accordance with the MTUS GUIDELINES, and are only prescribed for our patients that will benefit from this type of treatment.
§ 9792.24.1. Acupuncture Medical Treatment Guidelines.
(a) As used in this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Acupuncture” is used as an option when pain medication is reduced or not tolerated, it may be used as an adjunct to physical rehabilitation and/or surgical intervention to hasten functional recovery. It is the insertion and removal of filiform needles to stimulate acupoints (acupuncture points). Needles may be inserted, manipulated, and retained for a period of time. Acupuncture can be used to reduce pain, reduce inflammation, increase blood flow, increase range of motion, decrease the side effect of medication-induced nausea, promote relaxation in an anxious patient, and reduce muscle spasm.
(2) “Acupuncture with electrical stimulation” is the use of electrical current (micro-amperage or milli-amperage) on the needles at the acupuncture site. It is used to increase effectiveness of the needles by continuous stimulation of the acupoint. Physiological effects (depending on location and settings) can include endorphin release for pain relief, reduction of inflammation, increased blood circulation, analgesia through interruption of pain stimulus, and muscle relaxation. It is indicated to treat chronic pain conditions, radiating pain along a nerve pathway, muscle spasm, inflammation, scar tissue pain, and pain located in multiple sites.
(3) “Chronic pain for purposes of acupuncture” means chronic pain as defined in section 9792.20(c).
(1) These guidelines apply to acupuncture or acupuncture with electrical stimulation when referenced in the clinical topic medical treatment guidelines in the series of sections commencing with 9792.23.1 et seq., or in the chronic pain medical treatment guidelines contained in section 9792.24.2.
(c) Frequency and duration of acupuncture or acupuncture with electrical stimulation may be performed as follows:
(1) Time to produce functional improvement: 3 to 6 treatments.
(2) Frequency: 1 to 3 times per week
(3) Optimum duration: 1 to 2 months
(d) Acupuncture treatments may be extended if functional improvement is documented as defined in Section 9792.20(e).
(e) It is beyond the scope of the Acupuncture Medical Treatment Guidelines to state the precautions, limitations, contraindications or adverse events resulting from acupuncture or acupuncture with electrical stimulations. These decisions are left up to the acupuncturist.
Note: Authority cited: Sections 133, 4603.5, 5307.3 and 5307.27, Labor Code. Reference: Sections 77.5, 4600, 4604.5 and 5307.27, Labor Code.