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Drs. Gunn & David Kim on TPN Instructors
Meeting on February 2004


What is Trigger Point Needling (TPN)?

  What is TPN?

 Trigger Point Needling or TPN, is a scientifically proven form of treatment for chronic pain. Very thin needles are inserted into painful muscle spasms. This breaks the spasm and allows the muscle to heal naturally. These painful spasms are also known as trigger points.

  How does TPN work?

 Pain has 3 ingredients, nerves, muscles and bones. They are all connected like 3 links in a chain. Nerves are the most delicate and are damaged easily. When the nerve is damaged, it irritates the muscle attached to it. The irritated muscle will spasm and pull on the attached bone. This pulls the bone out of alignment and pain will result. When a needle is placed in the tight painful spasm, the muscle will relax and take the pressure off the attached nerves and bones. Pain will reduce or disappear. The nerves, muscles and bones can heal naturally. Since muscles also attach to discs, ligaments and tendons, once the spasm is released, these structures can heal.

  What is involved in a treatment?

 Following a thorough medical examination of the patient, the problem areas are identified and treatment is directed towards releasing muscle spasms which constitute the source of the pain. Typically, weekly sessions progressively lead to both signs of objective physical improvement as well as decreased symptoms. Treatment is provided on an outpatient basis and is often complimented with a home stretching program and lifestyle modification. The number of sessions is dictated by the severity of the problem as identified by the history and physical examination. The response to treatment depends upon multiple factors including the overall health of the patient and any post-surgical scarring present. Generally, patients will need weekly treatment for 1-2 months, then can be weaned off to an “as needed” basis.

  How did TPN develop?

 It was developed by Dr. Chan Gunn of Vancouver, Canada over 30 years ago. Dr. Gunn has been recognized by numerous prestigious international scientific and medical organizations for his significant contributions to the understanding and treatment of chronic pain. Click on his website to find out more information. Dr. Kim has studied extensively with Dr. Gunn and has been recognized as an honorary fellow of Dr. Gunn’s institution. He is only one of a handful of doctors in the U.S. that practices this technique. Dr. Kim adapted Dr. Gunn’s IMS technique to suit his patient population and now calls it Trigger Point Needling (TPN).

  Are there medical articles that explain TPN?

 Yes. Dr. Gunn has published many articles. In addition, Dr. Kim also published an extensive article titled The Evolution of Acupuncture in the medical journal “Seminars of Integrative Medicine”.

  Copyright 2005 Pain Management Solutions Inc.