Mr. Steve Wong
How Can Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) Help With Pain?
So IMS stands for intramuscular stimulation.
It’s a dry needling technique. Looks like acupuncture but actually a little bit different. And it’s commonly used to treat chronic muscle pain, but today we commonly see it used for muscular types of pain throughout the body, whether it’s in your neck, your shoulders, your lower back, your elbow, even in your legs. So it’s throughout the body.
IMS treats primarily neuropathic pain. What that means is nerves throughout your body can start to get hypersensitive and hyper-reactive. What that means is the nerves start to feel extra pain when there really shouldn’t be any pain. This manifests itself as tightness throughout the body. And, and so IMS will really treat that in a very effective way.
Quite often we see people coming in for IMS for things like rotator cuff tendonitis, rotator cuff tendinopathy, elbow pain, neck stiffness, chronic shoulder pain and stiffness, jaw pain, chronic hip pain, lower body stiffness, general body tightness and nothing will just make it let go.
The main process is a needle is inserted through a muscle. As it hits a little nerve ending in the muscle called a receptor, it actually stimulates a reaction, and that reaction leads to a muscle relaxation. We call that a reflexive relaxation.
Once the muscle is relaxed a number of things have happened. First of all, you, the pain has been reduced. The tension has been reduced. So now we’ve taken away some of that, that tightness along the tendon and the pressure that’s being put on the joint, the disk, and the nerve. And inevitably you’re trying to reduce the pain signals.
The second thing that happens is special little cells in the bloodstream start to get released, which help to remodel the area of pain as well as the area of trauma.
The third physiological effect is a current of injury or energy flows through the muscle, which tries to allow the muscle to re-pattern itself and to let it function normally again.
Treatment frequency really depends on, obviously, the nature of the condition as well as your age. We typically will see somebody once a week, and the goal of weaning them up to maybe once every two to three weeks. Sometimes people may need a maintenance type of treatment plan where they’re coming once every month, per se.
If you’re interested in IMS, what you want to do is visit a certified and trained practitioner of Gunn IMS, and that could be one of either a medical doctor or a registered physiotherapist.
Local Practitioners: Physiotherapist