What is Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS)?
Intramuscular stimulation, also known as IMS, or “dry needling,” is a medical procedure designed to alleviate muscle discomfort. This unique therapy aids pain relief by enhancing blood flow to the affected areas and triggering hormone release. IMS has proven to deliver immediate pain relief, making it a safe and effective therapeutic choice.
Dealing with chronic muscle discomfort
Experiencing persistent or recurrent muscular discomfort can feel insurmountable. Many people struggle with neuropathic or chronic musculoskeletal pain due to nerve sensitivity or dysfunction. This can lead to muscles becoming painfully weak, tense, and shortened, leaving you feeling like your muscles can never truly relax. IMS, with its proven efficacy, can help mitigate the discomfort and stiffness associated with conditions that cause chronic or recurring muscle pain.
The IMS process
Muscles can tighten and form trigger points due to injuries, compensation for damage elsewhere in the body, or abnormal signals from the spine and nerves. Once the physiotherapist locates these trigger points, an acupuncture needle is introduced.
As the needle is inserted into the tight muscle band, patients may experience sharp pain or a twitching sensation. After sufficiently stimulating the rigid muscles, the needle is removed. This procedure may be repeated several times at various trigger points.
The depth of the trigger point directly affects the IMS needling depth. For some muscles close to the skin’s surface, such as in the forearm or mouth, the depth may be as little as 1-2 cm. For deeper trigger points, such as in the hip or calf, the needle may penetrate 5-10 cm beneath the skin.
Conditions benefiting from IMS
IMS has been shown to be effective in treating:
- Back Pain
- Chronic Pain
Meet our practitioners
Our team of IMS practitioners include Edmund Gu, Jennifer Scott, Amy Guidinger, Andrea Box, Jason Luce, and Tara Lazarski.
Is IMS a type of dry needle procedure?
Yes, IMS falls under the umbrella of “dry needling” techniques. These methods involve stimulating tissues with a needle to encourage healing or muscular relaxation. Conversely, “wet needling” refers to procedures involving the injection of substances, such as medication or vaccines, through the needle.
How long does IMS take to work?
IMS is exceptionally effective in relaxing tight muscles and reducing pain right after the first session. While initial improvement is expected, typically 3–4 sessions are needed to verify the effectiveness of IMS. Most injuries are resolved after 8–10 sessions.
What should I do after my IMS treatment?
It’s essential to stay hydrated, remain active, and warm the needled area after an IMS session to alleviate post-treatment discomfort. As the soreness from the needling subsides (often within 24 hours), you should experience less pain and increased mobility.