Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS)

What Is IMS?

IMS is a dry needling technique performed by trained physiotherapists to address excessive muscle tone that is causing pain and dysfunction. Excessive tone, trigger points or tight muscle bands are present in a variety of conditions that may benefit from this needling technique. Chronic muscle tension responds most favorably to this treatment.
(‘CGIMS’ is the official designation).

What Does It Do

The insertion of an acupuncture needle into a tight muscle band evokes a reflex relaxation of the muscle involved. This muscle relaxation will in turn decrease the pressure on the associated tendons and joints, thus decreasing pain and inflammation. It can also help decrease nerve root impingement at the spinal level by helping to decrease the surrounding muscle spasm.

What To Expect

A comprehensive assessment of each individual will be performed and the options for treatment discussed. If the assessment findings indicate that IMS would be appropriate, consent would be sought and treatment could then begin.

How Does It Feel

The insertion of the acupuncture needle into the tight muscle band evokes a deep dull cramping sensation or a twitch, the intensity of which varies according to the degree of muscle tightness. There may be discomfort lasting up to a few days following treatment.

How Many Treatments

Frequency of treatment varies based on individual diagnosis. In general a regime of four to six treatments is required for optimal effects. For the best results IMS is used in conjunction with other physiotherapy techniques such as mobilization, manipulation and specific exercises.