Gunn IMS Intramuscular Treatment


Gunn IMS is a treatment using acupuncture needles to treat myofascial pain syndrome (MFPS). No medicine is injected with this technique. Gunn IMS is part of program of treatment for MFPS that may also include massage, physical therapy and stretching.

Related treatments for this condition:

  • Physical therapy
  • Trigger point injections
  • Myofascial release

Procedural Details

During your first visit, your healthcare professional will use the information about the pattern of your pain, your physical examination and special tests such as X-rays or MRI, if they are needed, to decide if you have MFPS that could be helped by Gunn IMS. If you and your physician decide to try Gunn IMS, you will then be treated at the next visit.

You will sit or lie down for the treatment. Acupuncture needles are put into the tight and tender bands in your muscles that are causing pain and reducing your ability to move freely. Some people do not realize that they are not moving freely to bend and turn (this is called a reduced range of motion) because the changes came on gradually. Patients usually get an improved range of motion with each treatment of Gunn IMS. There is no set number of needles used; sometimes it is only a few and sometimes many. It depends on how you are feeling.

Nothing is injected through these needles.


If you have local, regional or generalized muscle pain, you should consider Gunn IMS. Even when there are underlying problems with the spine, nerves or joints, such as herniated discs, rotator cuff injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica or arthritis or pain after surgery, there is sometimes a part of the pain that comes from MFPS. This part of the pain is treatable and can improve quite a bit. Sometimes that is enough relief for people to feel much better and go back to their regular activities.


Studies done in the 1980s by Dr. Gunn (who developed this technique) showed that the technique helped reduce pain and improve function.  Our experience with the technique shows that many patients notice relief of pain and stiffness after treatment. Many patients report improved function and less pain; sometimes the results are very dramatic. We are currently studying our patients who have had Gunn IMS, and hope to have more information soon.

What are the risks involved with this treatment/ procedure?

The risks for this treatment are the same as for acupuncture or any other time a needle is introduced into the body. There can be bruising, occasionally you will feel lightheadedness during the procedure, and sometimes there is increased pain for a few hours to a day afterwards.

What are the risks involved with not having this treatment/procedure?

Gunn IMS is a relatively low-cost treatment with very few serious complications. The risk of not using this treatment is that you may be lining up for procedures and therapies that have a higher risk.


The level of urgency depends on the amount of pain you have.