Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS), Dry Needling

IMS, Dry Needling Physiotherapy in Burnaby, BC

Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS), sometimes referred to as dry needling, is an ideal treatment for chronic pain of neuropathic origin. Neuropathic pain occurs when nerves malfunction, following trauma such as whiplash, back injury or repetitive strain. These irritated nerves become extremely sensitive and cause muscle tightness and shortening, producing changes in blood flow and turning normal sensory inputs into painful ones.

Our dry needling physiotherapists at Cedar provide physiotherapy and IMS in the Burnaby Heights area. If you are searching for dry needling in Burnaby, we are ready to help alleviate your pain and get your life back on track.

The History Behind IMS Physiotherapy

IMS was developed by Dr. Chan Gunn while he was a physician at the Worker’s Compensation Board of British Columbia in the 1970s. Here, Dr. Gunn investigated a large number of mysteriously stubborn cases after experiencing frustration with the ineffective modalities at his disposal. Based on scientific research, he subsequently developed this neuropathic model to explain his observations.

How Does IMS Work?

IMS relies heavily on a thorough physical examination of the patient by a dry needling physiotherapist trained to recognize the physical signs of neuropathic pain. This physical examination is indispensable; this is due to the fact that chronic pain is often neurological as opposed to structural. As such, it is invisible to expensive X-rays, MRI tests, bone and CT scans. Failure to recognize these signs will result in an inaccurate diagnosis and, as a result, a poor starting point for physical therapy.

What To Expect On Your First IMS Visit

Physiotherapy and IMS treatment uses needles to penetrate deep within the muscle tissue and specifically target injured muscles that have contracted and shortened from an unhealthy nervous system. The needle sites can be in the extremities at the epicenter of taut, tender muscle bands, as well as near the spine. 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.

The result is threefold. One, a stretch receptor in the muscle is stimulated, producing a reflex relaxation and lengthening of the muscle. Two, the needle also causes a small injury that draws blood to the area, initiating the natural healing process. Three, the treatment creates an electrical potential in the muscle to make the nerve function normally again.

What Is The Goal Of Physiotherapy And IMS?

The goal of IMS is to release muscle shortening, which presses on and irritates the nerve. Super-sensitive 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. IMS has a remarkable success rate at decreasing pain and dysfunction associated with many chronic conditions such as low back pain, whiplash, tennis elbow, TMJ pain, hip / knee / ankle pain and other chronic or recurrent pain.

Get Started With IMS In Burnaby

Cedar Chiropractic & Physiotherapy is your source for IMS physiotherapy in Burnaby. If you are looking for dry needling in Burnaby, our team is ready to develop a treatment plan and bring you the best care possible. For help or to request an appointment, contact us at 604-738-1168 today!