Sierra Clinic ~ Oriental Medicine

Functional medicine and integrative health care

Dennis R Tucker, Ph.D., L.Ac.

Chronic Pain

Oriental Medicine is a highly diverse field and what constitutes assessment and treatment can vary dramatically. I was trained in Japan and completed a hospital residency that provided exposure to many approaches to treatment. I think it is accurate to state that the overall approach I take to patient care and the treatment of chronic pain is unique to my practice. Much of my training with respect to the treatment of chronic pain involved learning to evaluate and map the neuromuscular changes that accompany all injury and pain-related syndromes. This is done through a specific form of "palpation": a precise and specialized use of the sense of touch to map neuromuscular changes of the surface of the body. I have been extensively trained in the use of this technique as well as specialized forms of treatment that have been integrated into a system referred to as "neuromuscular mapping." This system also incorporates neurology and trigger point theory along with specific acupuncture techniques.

Although I treat virtually all forms of musculoskeletal and neurological pain (including post surgical pain) a large portion of my practice is devoted to the treatment of chronic therapy resistant pain. These are patients that have often exhausted conventional treatment options and are debilitated by chronic high levels of pain and secondary disabilities. Examples include degenerative arthritis (joint damage and disease) chronic soft tissue pain; for example; tendinitis, rotator cuff tears, meniscus damage, bursitis, etc., and significant spinal abnormalities, for example; multi level disc disease, spinal stenosis and chronic radiculopathy with referred pain into the arms and legs. The specialized forms of assessment and treatment utilized in the treatment of chronic and severe pain syndromes are described in some detail in a published research paper I authored entitled A Novel Acupuncture Technique for the Treatment of Refractory Radiculopathy and Radiculitis. Other forms of chronic pain that are systemic or relate to organ function involve additional forms of assessment and treatment and are discussed in my patient orientation pamphlet.

Insofar as it is possible, I attempt to simultaneously treat all presenting sites of pain as well as use techniques to reduce physiological stress and support the general health of the patient. For more information on acupuncture and how treatment and scheduling is usually performed, please refer to the patient orientation pamphlet.