IMS treatment Burnaby

How To Fix Back Pain With IMS Treatment

Do you have a nagging back problem that is not going away? Is it hard to take care of your family because of your back? Is it making it hard to work?Back pain is something that many of us have to deal with on a regular basis. When you have pain lasting for longer then 3 months, it is then considered to be “chronic”.
Take Sarah for example. Sarah is a mother of two who works from home in the banking industry. She started noticing low back pain a few months ago. Lately, her pain has begun going down her leg.

Because of the pain, she had trouble sitting while working at home. Driving her kids to school was becoming unbearable. Brushing her teeth in the mornings was taking more effort than it should.

Using heat and stretching at home only helped a bit.

What finally helped Sarah with her chronic pain was something called Intramuscular Simulation (IMS) or dry needling. In this post, you will find out what IMS / dry needling is. You will learn how it can help you with your chronic back pain. You will also get other tips on how to get your pain under control.

what is IMS therapy

Why Does Fixing Your Low Back Pain Matter

Lower back pain, especially if the pain goes down into your leg, can really slow you down. In rare cases, surgery is needed to help relieve your problem.

There can be many different causes for your injury. Some of these include things like:

  • Being in a car accident
  • Hurting yourself playing sports
  • Bad posture over a long period
  • Getting hurt at work
  • Doing the same motions repetitively

Because of all this, you could end up spraining the joints in your back. You could injure the discs in your spine that sit between your vertebrae. Once an injury becomes chronic, it can be really hard to get rid of it. Sometimes, these injuries will turn into chronic back pain.

IMS pain management

What Is IMS Treatment

IMS is a treatment for chronic pain of neuropathic origin. Neuro-WHAT? Okay, that is just a fancy word for what happens when your nerves stop working properly. These irritated nerves then become very sensitive. So what is the big deal about irritated nerves? Well, when your nerves become more sensitive:

  • Your muscles will get tight and shorten
  • You get changes in blood flow
  • Signals that normally travel through your nerves are replaced with pain signals

You end up feeling symptoms such as low back pain or having pain go down your leg. IMS is sometimes referred to as dry needling.

During your IMS treatment, your physiotherapist will use very small needles. These needles are then slowly inserted into different areas of your body. Sometimes when the needle is inserted, your muscle may twitch for just a second. This is a good sign!

What Happens When You Visit Your IMS Physiotherapist

(1) Consultation: In your visit with your IMS physiotherapist, you will be asked questions about your pain. You may also be asked about at other treatments you tried and your lifestyle.

(2) Exam: Next, your physio will have you do different tests as part of your physical examination. You may have your posture looked at. You may be asked to move around. You may be tested on your strength, flexibility, balance and coordination.

(3) Review: Once done, your physiotherapist will have a better idea about why you are having chronic back pain. They will talk to you about what is wrong. After, they will discuss the best treatment plan to help you get better.

(4) Treatment: Other tools your IMS physiotherapist may use as part of your treatment could include exercises for your low back pain. Your physio may use therapeutic machines. You may be given postural or ergonomic tips. Sometimes you will get some hands-on therapy.

Get Help For Your Chronic Pain Now

IMS treament might be the answer you are looking for to help you with your pain. Some of the injuries that have been helped by IMS treatment include:

  • Hip, knee or ankle pain
  • Low back pain especially when it goes down your leg
  • Tennis elbow
  • Whiplash
  • Other chronic or recurring problems

Patient Success Story

She was able to pinpoint exactly the procedure that I needed, she used IMS needles and some manual therapy. She release all the kinks in my back within one session… I highly recommend this place!!


Posted on Google

Our IMS physiotherapy clinic is nestled in the vibrant North Burnaby Heights neighbourhood. Thousands of patients like Sarah have been able to get their lives back from chronic back pain.

To get help and relief from your chronic low back pain, schedule your visit with your IMS physiotherapist. You can contact us:

Schedule A Physio Visit

Phone 604-738-1168

IMS Treatment FAQ

Q: What should I do after my IMS treatment?

A: After your treatment, you may feel more sore or even tired. The best thing to do is to take it easy the rest of the day. Keep your activity level to a minimum. If you are sore after your IMS session, try using a flexible ice gel pack:

  • Wrap the ice pack in a wet towel and place it wherever you feel sore
  • Keep it on for between 15 to 20 minutes
  • You can repeat the ice up to 3 times each day

Q: How long does IMS take to work

A: Acute or newer injuries usually get better faster than injuries you have had for a long time. Sometimes, you may start feeling better even after your first visit. More often, you should notice improvements after 2-3 weeks of IMS treatment with your physiotherapist.

Other factors that may affect how fast you get better include the severity of your injury and your overall physical and mental health at the time of your physiotherapy treatments

Q: Is dry needling the same as IMS?

A: Dry needling and IMS are very similar techniques. They both involve the use of fine needles to treat myosfascial pain.

With dry needling, needles are usually inserted into trigger points in your muscles, or knots. The needle may be left in place for awhile or moved slightly during your treatment. Dry needling can be an effective tool in dealing with both acute or chronic trigger points.

IMS is a systemic approach to deal with chronic pain involving an assessment of your entire body. Chronic pain is usually pain that has persisted for longer than 3 months. In a typical session, only a few needles will be used