Intramuscular Stimulation or IMS
Physiotherapists at Whyte Ave Sport and Spine are excited to offer intramuscular stimulation, or IMS, to Edmonton residents. Our physical therapists are certified practitioners of GunnIMS.
IMS is an excellent way to treat chronic pain that has not responded to conventional treatment. Specifically, it is a great way to release muscle tension. Athletes, and non-athletes alike, love coming to Whyte Ave Sport and Spine for IMS because it is a great way to release their tight muscles.
Intramuscular stimulation (also called dry needling) is a needling technique used by our physiotherapists to diagnose and treat your muscle pain. It uses very fine needles similar to acupuncture needles. As the name implies the needles are inserted directly into the muscle tissue, which then elicits are relaxation response.
Your IMS practitioner
Is IMS for you?
Any individual who reports ongoing pain of greater than 6 weeks with little or no accompanying trauma or inflammatory process may benefit from IMS.
How does IMS work?
IMS works by releasing muscle shortening which presses on and irritates the nerve. The persistent pull of the shortened muscle is released and the body can begin the healing process.
What is the difference between Acupuncture and IMS?
IMS is not acupuncture, although it uses similar needles. Acupuncture is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine, while IMS is based on evidence based medicine. With acupuncture needles are inserted into specific points along defined energy meridians, and with IMS the needles are inserted at the source of the pain.
What is Neuropathic Pain?
Neuropathic pain occurs when nerves become overly sensitive to stimulation following a minor irritation. Nerves become extremely sensitive which results in harmless signals being perceived as pain. In a protective response to the perceived ‘painful’ stimulus, muscles contract and over time actually shorten causing increased stress on local ligaments, tendons and joints as well as decreased blood flow to the muscle. These effects increase the pain in the local area creating a complete ever increasing pain cycle.
What is shortened muscle syndrome?
An important factor in neuropathic pain is muscle shortening, caused by muscle spasm and contractor. Muscle shortening produces pain by pulling on tendons, straining them as well as distressing the joints they move. Muscle shortening also increases wear and tear and contributes to degenerative changes such as tendonitis and osteoarthritis.