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Gunn IMS (Intramuscular Stimulation)

What is Gunn Intramuscular Stimulation (Gunn IMS)?

Gunn IMS is a treatment technique that makes use of fine needles similar to those used in acupuncture to help treat muscle, joint and nerve pain.  It is particularly effective in the treatment of chronic pain conditions which have failed to improve with conventional types of treatment.  A key feature of Gunn IMS that separates it from other forms of dry needling is that it addresses disturbances in the nervous system which may be the underlying cause responsible for the pain that is being felt.   Since Gunn IMS looks for the root cause of the problem, it differs from other forms of dry needling which only treat the symptoms.  In this way, Gunn IMS helps to restore normal tissue function in situations where other dry needling techniques have been ineffective.

Gunn IMS can only be performed by registered physiotherapists and medical doctors who are certified to use this technique.  A certified Gunn IMS practitioner will have the CGIMS abbreviation after their name.  They have received extensive assessment and training to ensure that treatments are performed safely and effectively.  In short, when being treated by a Gunn IMS practitioner you are being treated by a highly-skilled professional.


What Conditions Can Be Treated with Gunn IMS?

Gunn IMS can be used to treat a host of conditions affecting the muscles, joints and nerves of the body.  Some of the more commonly  seen conditions which Gunn IMS treats include:

  • Low back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Tennis elbow
  • Golfer’s elbow
  • Sciatica
  • Knee pain (patellofemoral syndrome/chondromalacia patella)
  • Shoulder pain (rotator cuff syndrome)
  • Hip pain (IT band syndrome, piriformis syndrome)


If faulty nerves can be the underlying cause of my pain, what causes dysfunction in nerves?

Nerves may become dysfunctional for a variety of reasons but one of the most common is the physically compressing or stretching  of nerves.  This often occurs around the spine because of poor posture and/or wear-and-tear changes in the discs and joints of the spine. This stretching or compression of nerves can also occur in other parts of the body due to tight muscles.


When nerves become stretched or compressed, what happens?

Nerves are like the electrical wiring in our homes.  They send electrical signals to your muscles to make them contract.   When nerves are compressed or stretched because of degenerative changes in the spine or nearby structures, it may cause them to not function properly.  When the wires in your home become damaged, the lights may not turn on/off properly or may “flicker” while they are on.  Simiarly, nerves when compressed or stretched will not send electrical signals to the muscle properly.  This makes the muscles tight, sensitive, and eventually painful. Altered electrical signals can also lead to problems in other tissues like joints, tendons and fascia.

Have you ever wondered for example why someone may have a sore neck as well as a sore shoulder, elbow or wrist at the same time?  It is possible that these conditions are not linked to each other, however many times, these conditions are inter-related because they share a common root cause, a dysfunctional nervous system!  Gunn IMS practitioners are trained to identify these clients so that rather than “chasing symptoms” and treating multiple areas ineffectively they can address the underlying cause and alleviate symptoms.