How does Intramuscular Stimulation work?
The physiotherapist inserts extremely fine, acupuncture needles into the tight bands of your muscular tissue. When an unhealthy muscle bands are needled, you will feel a cramping or aching sensation. The needle is kept in place until this feeling dissipates.
The goal of IMS is to:
- Relax and lengthen the muscle to decrease pain and tension
- Create a minor injury to the muscle in order to draw blood to the area to activate healing
- Improve communication between the nervous system and the muscle, which in turn improves nerve function
How is this different from acupuncture?
Acupuncturists target points that have a very specific location based on surface anatomy. Needles are generally left in for 20 to 30 minutes. In IMS, target points are based on muscle tension respecting the underlying anatomy. The needles are typically inserted for only a few seconds while being moved around to release the muscle tension.
Do I need anything in addition to IMS treatment?
Yes, most likely. As with most physiotherapy treatment techniques, IMS is only one of a number of techniques that should be employed to get you back to full function. IMS is usually done in conjunction with manual physio techniques, stretching and strengthening exercises, the use of foam rollers, and as with everything, a healthy lifestyle.
IMS can be very effective for the following conditions:
- Rotator Cuff Issues
- Lower Back Pain
- Chronic Headaches
- Tennis Elbow
- Trochanteric Bursitis
- Lumbar or Cervical Spinal Stenosis
- Muscle Stiffness
- Iliotibial (IT) Band Syndrome
- Achilles Tendinitis
- Piriformis Syndrome
- Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) pain
- Recovering Muscle Tears
At your first visit, your physiotherapist will consult with you about your medical history, examine you, and determine if this will be an appropriate treatment for you.