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What is IMS?

Tight muscles can put pressure on nearby nerves, causing a change in how those nerves work. This can result in pain and dysfunction. Intramuscular stimulation (IMS) is a type of dry needling that releases tension in muscles to reduce nerve compression and improve/normalize nerve function. In order to free up the entire nerve pathway, IMS is done for muscles at both the area of pain/dysfunction and at the corresponding spinal muscles.

What does IMS feel like?

Similar to acupuncture, clients will feel a small pin prick when the needle is inserted. During treatment you may experience an intense achy pain in the targeted muscle and that muscle may spontaneously contract.

Does IMS hurt?

Besides the short-lived, achy pain during treatment, you may also experience muscle soreness later that day, similar to what you would feel after working out a muscle. The soreness can be relieved by applying heat and should resolve by the next day.

What should you do before an IMS treatment?

  • Have a light meal
  • No alcohol, barbiturate or tranquillizer for 4 hours before treatment
  • Do not smoke tobacco for one hour before a treatment
  • Continue any other medication as prescribed by your doctor
  • Be well rested, if possible

What is included in an IMS treatment?

Your physiotherapist will perform the following, always using clean & safe technique:

  • Position you comfortably
  • Clean the skin using Stanhexidine (anti bacterial solution)
  • Insert the acupuncture needles
  • Instruct you to remain still and relax
  • Insert needle, moving it in/out of the target muscle tissue
  • Remove the needle
  • Repeat in other muscles being treated
  • Provide after care instructions

What are the therapeutic goals of IMS?

  • Reduce pain
  • Reduce muscle tension/tone (aka “knots”)
  • Reduce symptoms of nerve compression (eg. numbness, tingling)
  • Improve muscle activation
  • Improve function

No Pain. No Gain.