Intermuscular Stimulation (IMS) / Dry Needling
Intermuscular stimulation (IMS) treatment involves dry needling of affected areas of the body without injecting any substance. The needle sites can be at the epicenter of taut, tender muscle bands, or they can be near the spine where the nerve root may have become irritated and supersensitive. Penetration of a normal muscle is painless; however, a shortened, supersensitive muscle will ‘grasp’ the needle in what can be described as a cramping sensation.
Benefits of Intermuscular Stimulation (IMS) and Dry Needling
The result is threefold.
- a stretch receptor in the muscle is stimulated, producing a reflex relaxation (lengthening).
- the needle also causes a small injury that draws blood to the area, initiating the natural healing process.
- the treatment creates an electrical potential in the muscle to make the nerve function normally again.
The needle used in IMS, by stimulating muscle spindles, essentially becomes a specific and unique tool for the diagnosis of Neuropathic Muscle Pain.
The goal of treatment is to release muscle shortening, which presses on and irritates the nerve. Supersensitive areas can be desensitized, and the persistent pull of shortened muscles can be released. IMS is very effective for releasing shortened muscles under contracture, thereby causing mechanical pain from muscle pull. IMS, in effect, treats the underlying neuropathic condition that causes the pain. When competently performed, IMS has a remarkable success rate, as proven by the improvement of symptoms and signs, even for chronic back pain with root signs.
IMS vs Acupuncture
IMS is comparable in several ways to acupuncture; however, there are a number of important differences. IMS requires a medical examination and diagnosis by a healthcare practitioner trained in anatomy, needle insertions are indicated by physical signs and not according to predefined, non-scientific meridians (as per acupuncture approach), while subjective and objective effects are usually experienced immediately.
IMS / Dry Needling in Guelph
Learn more about IMS treatment in Guelph, Ontario, or contact our team and see if dry needling treatment is right for you.