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CPENS Therapy

CraigPENS (CPENS) is a highly effective pain treatment technique invented by William F Craig, M.D in the 1970’s. It involves the insertion of acupuncture needles through the skin into the surrounding muscles and near nerve roots.

CPENS requires a series of treatments to be effective. Most people notice a positive shift after the first 2 treatments when treated twice per week and find the results to last for the longest period of time after the 6th treatment. At each treatment the patient’s response to the previous probe placement (where we put the needles), circuit (how we run the wires to each probe), the frequency (low, medium, high or mixed) and the number of treatments is assessed. These same variables are then adjusted and recorded for each treatment.

In CPENS the placement of the needles is based on the location of the nerves involved in the patient’s pain. In Traditional Chinese Medicine the needle placement is based on Meridians or energy channels. The state of a patient’s YIN or YANG energies are assessed and guide the treatments.


CPENS relates to this system only in that the meridians frequently correspond to points where the nerves are near the surface of the body. Most of the clinical research on CraigPENS has been supervised by Paul White, Ph.D. M.D. at UT Southwestern Medical School in Dallas.


What conditions can be treated with CraigPENS?

Almost any kind of pain can be treated with CraigPENS. The conditions treated most successfully are neck and low back pain, shingles, trigeminal neuralgia and diabetic neuropathy. Some kinds of joint pains respond well depending on the age and degree of the injury or arthritis involved.

Is it painful?

There is a pinprick sensation with insertion of the fine stainless steel probes used and a mild sensation with the electrical stimulation used. After a few minutes most patient’s report feeling very relaxed. Early in a series of treatments there is frequently rebound pain, which may last as long as 24 or 36 hours. In fact it is quite normal for patient’s to report a short period of relief followed by a longer period of rebound pain in the first several treatments. Over a series of treatments this pattern gradually reverses; the periods of relief become longer and the periods of rebound pain shorter until the relief becomes sustained…lasting months or years in successful cases.


Is there any risk of damage from CraigPENS?

No. CraigPENS does not work by burning the nerves or harming the body in any way In fact it appears to work by enhancing the bodies ability to modulate pain. One of it’s benefits is that it is a completely non-pharmacological treatment.

If I get better from the treatments how long will it last?

That depends on how much tissue injury is present. In some cases pain relief lasts for years. We have a few patients who require regular ‘touch-up’ treatments to maintain their pain relief. Of course there is always the risk that CraigPENS may not work for your individual pain problem. We cannot guaranty results, however, our experience is that patients are getting sustained results with spinal pain problems.

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