Living Well Center Pilot Program


What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a natural way to relieve pain and improve function. It comes from Traditional Chinese Medicine and has become popular in the United States as treatment for pain. It works well for pain in muscles and joints, such as back pain, hip pain and knee pain.

Acupuncture can also treat pain that is vague or long-term. It can help patients manage pain before or after surgery. It can even help patients avoid surgery altogether. 

How does it work?

Acupuncture involves placing very small needles at various locations on your body to help stimulate nerves and release muscles. The number of treatments you need will depend on your condition, usually one to five treatments. Your doctor may recommend monthly follow-up treatments.

Patients often feel immediate relief of symptoms, but sometimes may not respond until the third or fourth treatment. Acupuncture works for many people, but may not work for all.

Why Choose Washington University Orthopedics for acupuncture treatment?

At Washington University Orthopedics, a board-certified physician will administer your acupuncture. This means you will receive an accurate diagnosis and evidence-based treatment by an expertly-trained, trusted medical doctor.

Structure-based medical acupuncture is different that acupuncture provided by most licensed acupuncturists. Our acupuncture doctors have years of medical training, expert knowledge of the body, and experience with special acupuncture techniques.

We know patients often see the best results with a combination of different treatments. As doctors, we can provide you with physical therapy, medication, or various injections to maximize your results.

What is the first visit like?

Your first visit will be a consultation. You will meet with a physician who will ask you detailed questions about your medical history. He or she will perform a physical exam and review any imaging, like X-rays or MRIs.

After a detailed exam, your doctor will give you a medical diagnosis. If your doctor decides acupuncture is right for you, you may receive your first session of acupuncture at the end of your consultation.

Is it covered by insurance?

Insurance coverage varies, but acupuncture is usually not covered by most healthcare insurance carriers. Call your insurance carrier before your appointment so you know your coverage status. Acupuncture may be eligible for coverage by some healthcare flexible spending accounts (FSA).

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