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Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS)

What is IMS?

Intramuscular Stimulation or IMS is a form of dry needling to treat pain caused by trigger points within muscles. Trigger points, commonly referred to as muscle knots, are sensitive spots in soft tissue. IMS treats both the trigger points within the muscles and the corresponding nerve root.

How does it work?

During IMS treatment, your physiotherapist will insert small and very thin acupuncture needles into the tight muscle tissue. The needles trigger a reflex response in the muscle, causing it to relax. If you have ever tried acupuncture then IMS may seem familiar, as IMS uses the same type of needle. However, unlike acupuncture, IMS takes just a few minutes to perform and the needles are usually taken out right away.

Does IMS hurt?

You may feel some soreness where the needle was inserted during or after treatment, but the discomfort won’t last long and will be followed by relief and better movement in the area.

What is IMS used for?

IMS is now being used to treat a wide variety of issues relating to pain, tension or soreness in muscles and joints in almost all areas of the body. Doctors often provide referrals for IMS to treat chronic, persistent or unexplained pain. Although IMS is a very effective treatment it is not indicated for all conditions. Contact us for more information or to book an assessment to discuss what the optimal treatment plan may look like for you.

What are the benefits of IMS?

There are both immediate and long-term benefits to IMS. You may feel some relief after your first treatment, since the IMS needle releases muscle “knots”, allowing the muscle to relax and facilitate the healing process. You will experience the long-term benefits of IMS as the tissue repairs the tiny injury made by the needle. This repairing process helps to create a normal relationship between the muscle and the nerve.

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