Intramuscular Stimulation

IMS is a dry needling technique used 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. IMS is a specialized technique performed by specially trained physiotherapists (‘CGIMS’ is the official designation). Treatments are provided as part of a private treatment session.

What Does IMS 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?

The physiotherapist will complete a comprehensive manual assessment for each individual and discuss the options for treatment with them. If the assessment findings indicate that IMS would be appropriate, the patient’s consent would be sought and treatment could then begin.

How Does IMS 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. Patients may report discomfort lasting up to a few days following treatment.

IMS Treatment Frequency?

Frequency of treatment will vary from patient to patient based on their individual diagnosis and its severity. In general however, patients will undergo a minimum of four to six treatments. IMS is used in conjunction with other physiotherapy techniques, such as mobilization, manipulation and strengthening to optimize function.

What Is the Cost?

The cost of treatment is initially included in our fees. These fees are payable following each visit and medical receipts can be submitted to the individual’s extended health care plans for reimbursement.

For more information visit  The Institute for the Study and Treatment of Pain