Intramuscular Stimulation - IMS
Location: Motion Matters Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic, 170 Laurier Ave. W.
What is it?
Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) is a dry needling technique that helps decrease chronic pain caused by shortened muscles and supersensitive nerves. The goal of the treatment is to release these shortened muscles that irritate the nerves causing pain and dysfunction.
How IMS works
IMS involves inserting very fine acupuncture needles into the body where muscles have shortened. The needles are inserted in specific areas of the body (most often in tight muscles bands as well as near the spine where the associated nerves are irritated).
What to expect during a treatment
A detailed assessment will be conducted before any IMS treatment to ensure it is the appropriate course of treatment. Needles will then be inserted in the tender and taut muscle bands. Needling a normal muscle is generally painless, however if the muscle is shortened and supersensitive, then a cramping sensation will be felt. This temporary grasping effect is critical to the healing process since it allows the affected muscles to relax which then takes the pressure away from the supersensitive areas.
The difference between Acupuncture and IMS
IMS uses the theories of traditional eastern Acupuncture as well as western advances in medical research. The needles are identical in both treatments however it is in their application that they differ. In traditional Chinese medicine, the acupuncture needles are inserted in predetermined points along meridians (maps of energy) whereas in IMS, the needles are inserted directly into the site of pain as well as in the associated spinal segments.
For more information, please visit the Institute for the Study of Treatment of Pain (ISTOP).