Dr. Richardson is board certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the American Board of Pain Medicine, and the American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine. She is also certified in Medical Acupuncture.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a type of treatment that involves pricking the skin or tissues with small, sterile needles. It is used to alleviate pain and to treat various physical, mental, and emotional conditions by balancing the body’s energy or Qi (Chi). Originating in ancient China, acupuncture is now also widely practiced in conventional medicine.
I had Dry Needling as part of physical therapy. Is that the same things as Acupuncture?
Not at all! Dry needling and cupping are localized treatments sometimes performed as part of a physical or chiropractic therapy treatment. They are focused on changing muscle tone/texture only and do not provide the same benefits as traditional energy-moving acupuncture.
What kind of problems can acupuncture treat?
Acupuncture is an excellent treatment for most painful conditions (all back and neck pains, muscle strain/sprain, headaches, fibromyalgia, post-operative pain, pain related to scars, etc.) and is also used to improve insomnia, manage stress, fatigue, anxiety, PTSD, depression, infertility, and drug withdrawal.
What services are offered at LCP&P?
Auricular (Ear) Acupuncture – small needles, “tabs,” or “buttons” are inserted into specific areas of the ear that correspond to the pain/problem the patient needs addressed. Some of these can stay in the ear and be effective for up to 2 weeks.
Surface Acupuncture for Musculoskeletal Pain – small needles are inserted superficially over the painful area in order to improve blood flow, move energy, and reduce heat/inflammation over the area.
Tendinomuscular Treatments for Acute Pain – acupuncture needles are used in a specific pattern to address an acute problem such as a sprain, strain, burn, or any “hot” problem.
Acupuncture Trigger Point Deactivation – acupuncture needles are used with or without electrical stimulation in order to deactivate trigger points and improve muscle tone/texture. This treatment me be combined with surface treatments or other “energy-moving” treatments.
Gua Sha Scraping and Cupping – cups or a blunt instrument are used to “scrape” superficially over sore muscles and fascia in order to improve blood flow, circulation, and muscle texture. Helpful to reduce pain, reduce spasm, and improve muscle flexibility. These treatments do not involve needles.
Scar Deactivation – a series of treatments to improve scar texture and mobility and reduce pain. Good for both recent and old scars. Treatment can range from simple needling to lidocaine infiltration with or without electrical stimulation.
Energy Balancing Treatments - acupuncture treatments that balance the body’s energy flow and promote relaxation, pain relief, and a general sense of well-being. Electrical stimulation is sometimes used in order to improve the body’s internal energy movement.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of required treatments depends on many factors, including the type of problem being addressed. The longer a problem has been present, the more sessions it will likely require to reach maximum benefit. Once symptoms are controlled, many patients can change to “as needed” visits on a monthly basis or longer. For treatments such as scar deactivation, 6-8 treatments are usually needed for best results.
Does insurance cover acupuncture?
Check with your insurance plan. Many commercial plans are now coving acupuncture! Most HSA and FSA plans also consider acupuncture a covered service. We are happy to provide a receipt that can be submitted to your HSA/FSA for reimbursement
Why have you decided to offer these treatments?
LCP&P is committed to offering appropriate treatment for pain but is aware that many conventional treatments, including opioid medications and traditional spinal injections, have failed to provide adequate relief to patients. Recent research has also indicated that treatments such as exercise and acupuncture are actually more effective long-term than many surgeries and medications.
What is a PHYSIATRIST?
A physiatrist, pronounced (fizz ee at' trist or fizz i’ a trist), is a physician who has received specialized training in physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R). PM&R, or physiatry, is the branch of medicine emphasizing the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of disorders that produce temporary or permanent functional impairment.
Physiatry is unique among medical fields in that its area of expertise addresses the function of the whole patient, as compared with a focus on an organ system or systems. Suffering an acute injury or living with chronic illness can affect the way people move and communicate, perceive themselves and their role in the home and workplace. Physiatry is about patient-centered care and maximizing independence and mobility with the goal of returning patients to their roles in society.
Physiatrists maximize what a patient can do and assist the patient in adapting to what he or she cannot. A physiatrist should be consulted when pain, weakness, or disability is preventing a patient from achieving their desired level of independence. Citing Source: [http://www.aapmr.org/]: [Aug. 19, 2016]
Electromyography (EMG) is a diagnostic procedure to assess the health of muscles and the nerve cells that control them (motor neurons).
Motor neurons transmit electrical signals that cause muscles to contract. An EMG translates these signals into graphs, sounds or numerical values that a specialist interprets.
An EMG uses tiny devices called electrodes to transmit or detect electrical signals.
During a needle EMG, a needle electrode inserted directly into a muscle records the electrical activity in that muscle.
A nerve conduction study, another part of an EMG, uses electrodes taped to the skin (surface electrodes) to measure the speed and strength of signals traveling between two or more points.
EMG results can reveal nerve dysfunction, muscle dysfunction or problems with nerve-to-muscle signal transmission.
Citing Source: [http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/electroconvulsive-therapy/basics/definition/prc-20014183]: [Aug. 19, 2016]
Injections available at Laurel County Physiatry and Pain include:
Trigger Point Injections
Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections
Cervical Epidural Steroid Injections
Lumbar Medial Branch Blocks
Sacroiliac Joint Injection
- Ultrasound-guided joint injections
Greater Trochanteric Bursa
Carpal Tunnel (wrist)