IMS: Intramuscular Stimulation

Do you have areas of tightness or muscle trigger points that are not relieved by massage or other forms of therapy? Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS), also known as Functional Dry Needling (FDN), is a type of treatment that involves inserting a tiny monofilament needle in a muscle to release shortened bands of muscles and decrease trigger point activity. This can help relieve pain, muscle tension, and will promote healing.

Common areas for dry needling include:

- Shoulders and neck to help with achy postural muscles

- Forearm muscles to alleviate carpel tunnel syndrome or tennis elbow

- Calf muscles for plantar fasciitis

- Buttock muscles for hip or low back pain.

Is IMS the same as acupuncture? Although IMS uses the same needles as acupuncture, this is the only similarity between IMS and acupuncture. In IMS, the focus is on identifying trigger points (tight bands of muscles) and resolving dysfunctional movement patterns. Acupuncture uses Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnostic methods and inserts needles into specific points that lie along meridians (channels) of the body to restore “qi.”

Is there scientific evidence supporting dry needling? Yes, there are numerous studies supporting the biochemical effects of functional dry needling. History of dry needling dates back to the early 1900’s where the terms “fibrositis” and “myofascitis” originated. More recently, the “Trigger Point Manual” by Dr. Travell and “Treatment of Chronic Pain” by Chan Gunn were published and widely influences the current techniques of dry needling.

Book your appointment today for a full physiotherapy assessment to determine if IMS is right for you.


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