Did you know that the Louisiana Workforce Commission’s Office of Workers; Compensation recognizes Acupuncture as a Therapeutic Non-Operative Procedure?

Louisiana Workforce Commission Office of Workers’ Compensation Chapter 21, Subchapter A. §2111

1. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an accepted and widely used procedure for the relief of pain and inflammation, and there is some scientific evidence to support its use. The exact mode of action is only partially understood. Western medicine studies suggest that acupuncture stimulates the nervous system at the level of the brain, promotes deep relaxation, and affects the release of neurotransmitters. Acupuncture is commonly used as an alternative or in addition to traditional Western pharmaceuticals. While it is commonly used when pain medication is reduced or not tolerated, it may be used as an adjunct to physical rehabilitation and/or surgical intervention to hasten the return of functional activity. Acupuncture should be performed by licensed practitioners.

a. Acupuncture: 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.
i. Indications include joint pain, joint stiffness, soft tissue pain and inflammation, paresthesia, postsurgical pain relief, muscle spasm, and scar tissue pain.

b. Acupuncture with Electrical Stimulation: is the use of electrical current (micro-amperage or milliamperage) 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.

i. 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.
c. Total Time Frames For Acupuncture and Acupuncture with Electrical Stimulation: Time frames are not meant to be applied to each of the above sections separately. The time frames are to be applied to all acupuncture treatments regardless of the type or combination of therapies being provided.
i. time to produce effect: three to six treatments;
ii. frequency: one to three times per week;
iii. optimum duration: one to two months; iv. maximum duration: 14 treatments. (a). Any of the above acupuncture treatments may extend longer if objective functional gains can be documented or when symptomatic benefits facilitate progression in the patient’s treatment program. Treatment beyond 14 treatments must be documented with respect to need and ability to facilitate positive symptomatic or functional gains. Such care should be re-evaluated and documented with each series of treatments. (b). Other Acupuncture Modalities. Acupuncture treatment is based on individual patient needs and therefore treatment may include a combination of procedures to enhance treatment effect. Other procedures may include the use of heat, soft tissue manipulation/massage, and exercise. Refer to Active Therapy (Therapeutic Exercise) and Passive Therapy sections (Massage and Superficial Heat and Cold Therapy) for a description of these adjunctive acupuncture modalities and time frames.

Dr. Carter works in conjunction with LA Health Solutions providing care for workman’s compensation and personal injury patients.