Book Your Appointment

IMS, or Intramuscular Stimulation

small-imsBody Works Sports Physiotherapy is pleased to offer Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS), a scientifically proven and effective method for treating chronic pain and injuries relating to chronic conditions.  Based on neurophysiological principles, IMS involves the insertion of very thin acupuncture needles into muscles that are tight or holding excess tension.

Excess tension in your muscles may occur in response to injury or from excessive loading in the body or from poor postures for work or sport. These tight muscles often act to compensate for injury, and in some cases may be the cause of the injury. Often, there are trigger points that are located in the muscles that cause pain.  For more information on a what a trigger point is, please click here to see a video explaining it.

Characteristics of a shortened muscle

On the left represents a normal muscle (in red) attached by normal tendons (in white) to the bone. On the right is a shortened muscle.
In a shortened muscle you may experience:
pain, spasm, stiffness or tenderness.
The blood flow decreases and toxins accumulate.
There will be tender points and trigger points.
Finally you may experience increased traction or tension on the tendon and the tendon-bone attachment which can be a cause of pain.

To help you release a hypertonic or hyperactive tight muscle, we use a thin needle is inserted into the muscle, resulting in a twitch or grab, which causes it to relax fully. Once the tension is released, the pain is reduced or alleviated.

After releasing the tight muscles or areas of trigger points, we are able to more easily retrain your movement patterns to improve how your body moves and performs. This combined approach will help prevent the return of tightness in these muscles and will greatly decrease the likelihood of re-injury.

At Body Works Sports Physiotherapy, we complete a full body assessment to determine which areas need to be released and which areas need to be strengthened to help balance out your body.  We use IMS in conjunction with other techniques, such as Manual Therapy, Movement Retraining, and Functional Exercise Progression. This integrated treatment approach leads to overall improved movement patterns, and ultimately increases the efficiency of your movement.  This will facilitate an easier and quicker  return to sport and activity.

For more information on IMS, please Contact Us or you can visit the Institute for the Study and Treatment of Pain website.

Kinetacore has also put together some education regarding functional dry needling, which is very similar to IMS.  Click here to view a video outlining the use of Functional Dry Needling/IMS for professional football.

Check out more IMS videos below

How We Use IMS

“I was in a bike/car accident and my doctor recommended I see Dana for her IMS treatments.  Originally, I thought the cost was excessive for physiotherapy, but I figured I’d give it a try as the chiropractic treatment I was receiving wasn’t relieving much pain.  After the first visit to Dana, she helped to release various muscles and the tension in my neck, back, hips and legs was gone.  I’ve been seeing Dana only about twice a month, but her treatment methods have helped me get back on my bike, get back to training and be able to put in a full 8 hour work day without pain or stressed muscles.  As a high-level athlete, I’ve been to many physiotherapy clinics, but hands down Dana has been the best physiotherapist I’ve worked with in the last 10 years.”

Sean V.