What is IMS treatment?
IMS is short for Intramuscular stimulation where the use of a needle without any medication on it (dry needling IMS technique) is inserted into the muscle under the skin and pistoned to get a muscle twitch.
WAIT…stop right there…did they just say needle under the skin? I know what you are thinking. OUCH…FAINT! It is actually more uncomfortable than painful and we have performed it on people that were deathly afraid of injection needles without any issues!
When a muscle has shortened with really tight bands in it that is usually when we would suggest to you lets try some IMS needling.
Why does it shorten? It has to do with the nerve supply sending the wrong signals to the muscle
The goal of IMS needling is to produce a muscle twitch that is slightly uncomfortable and somewhat of an odd feeling…..BAM
This muscle twitch can help release the short tight muscle to allow it to heal.
Just the other day a long time client wanted to try dry needling for jaw pain and difficulty chewing.
When IMS needling was performed by our amazing Physiotherapist in the muscles of the jaw this client was so ecstatic that they could immediately chew without pain or clicking.
How can IMS treatment help me?
We are very frequently asked by newcomers to Sporting Edge Physiotherapy “I see you perform IMS treatment will that help my condition?”
The response is almost always YES!
IMS needling can be very effective at helping new or old injuries heal.
IMS needling is used as a part of an overall Physiotherapy plan that will likely include some type of exercise, manual therapy, and education about what you can do to get better.
IMS treatment performed by Physiotherapists certified in Functional Dry Needling is often able to offer instant pain relief.
Also, there are often times when your Physiotherapist will perform IMS needling away from the site of pain, to release adjacent or compensating muscles, which can enable proper body function as a whole and relieve pain even faster
So now you are thinking what if I don’t have pain?
The main goal of IMS Physiotherapy is to allow proper movement and function.
The muscle twitch can help your muscle fire properly to perform that movement you do in your sport or fitness routine better.
9 conditions Physiotherapists can treat with IMS needling
If you have any of these conditions ask us on your first visit to try some dry needling techniques to get you on the road to less pain and better function.
1) Joint problems and clicking
- IMS treatment works on joint pain by easing the muscle tension holding that joint back from full range of motion
2) Disc problems
- IMS treatment works on disc pain by easing off the tension in the shortened muscle that is restricting the joint from decompressing on either side
3) Migraine and tension-type headaches
- IMS treatment works on headaches by easing the muscle tension that is referring the pain in the head in muscles like your upper trapezius
4) Jaw and mouth problems
- IMS treatment works on chewing restrictions due to muscle fatigue and clicking/locking of the jaw by releasing the muscles that help the jaw open and close and chew
5) Repetitive motion disorders like carpal tunnel syndrome
- IMS treatment helps by reducing the muscle tension in highly overused muscles of the forearms
6) Pelvic & Groin pain
- IMS treatment can help by loosening the muscle tension in muscles of the pelvis such as the piriformis, hip flexors, and glutes which can refer pain in the hips
7) Post operative ACL reconstruction
- IMS needling can help get the quad muscles activating as they once did pre- surgery to jumpstart your ability to straighten your leg
8) Post fracture
- IMS needling can help activate shriveled calf muscles after you have been immobilized in a walking boot for an extended time period
9) Achilles tendon rupture
- IMS needling can help to start activating the calves to allow you to tiptoe once again
To summarize IMS needling can be used for almost all conditions.
It is safe when performed by trained Physiotherapists.
It is a great choice for you to manage your pain and get back to the life activities you enjoy most.
So what are you waiting for?
Lets get you back on the road to better health today with a free phone call with one of our excellent Physiotherapists to see if IMS treatment is right for you!
P.S. we have helped many clients shake free of pain and return to what they love doing most. We are very excited to answer any questions you may have and look forward to meeting you!
Does IMS needling hurt?
IMS needling can be slightly uncomfortable for a very short time period and some even describe it as feeling like an odd sensation when the needle is inserted through the skin into the muscle, there may be a slight contraction or twitch within the muscle.
How long does dry needling last?
Although you may have some soreness after a dry needling session, you will often notice some improvement in your symptoms within 24-48 hours. Again, the intensity of this improvement will ideally increase with each additional session. A client of ours came in once monthly to have their jaw muscles dry needled to allow chewing to be non painful and it lasted the entire time between visits. Another client had weakness raising their shoulder and immediately after IMS of the rotator cuff and deltoid this client was able to lift the shoulder at full strength allowing a strengthening program to be followed right after. Strength stayed full until 3 weeks after when IMS needling had to be performed a second time and results this time lasted 5 weeks.
What is the difference between IMS & acupuncture?
Acupuncture treats for the purpose of altering the flow of Qi (or energy) along traditional Chinese meridians while IMS needling follows evidence-based guidelines, recommended “point” locations, and dosages for the treatment of specific conditions. Acupuncture is used more often with acute widespread inflammation and acute pain. IMS needling is used specifically for stiff muscles with trigger points: it helps get rid of the referred pain pattern you feel and improves your strength and range of motion immediately IMS Physiotherapy is used to treat musculoskeletal disorders, especially myofascial pain. The technique revolves around the identification of tender points (trigger points) in the body.