Dry Needling and IMS

Dry needling is a general term for a therapeutic treatment procedure that involves inserting an extremely fine filament needle into a spot in your muscle that’s causing you pain. Typically, this spot is a tight knot of muscle called a ‘Trigger Point.’ Dry needling is used to release the knot to restore normal length and function of your muscle and get rid of your pain.

Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) is a type of dry needling using acupuncture needles inserted into tight muscle bands. It was developed by Dr. Chan Gunn to treat chronic pain syndromes that affect the musculoskeletal system.

According to IMS theory, there are three main benefits of IMS/dry needling:

  1. Reflexive relaxation and lengthening of taut muscle
  2. Improved healing of injured tissue
  3. Restoration of normal nerve function.

How we use IMS/Dry Needling at Transitions Physiotherapy

Sometimes tight muscle pulls parts of your body out of alignment leading to poor movement patterns, poor posture and pain. IMS/dry needling may be used to release specific taut muscle bands that are holding specific parts of the body in poor alignment or posture. It’s used in conjunction with manual therapy and movement training to help restore better posture and movement patterns and to get rid of your pain.

We also use IMS to treat a chronically painful muscle. For example, in the treatment of tennis elbow it can be used to release the muscle tightness in the forearm that is causing pain and pulling on the inflamed tendon.

To ensure a lasting effect from IMS/dry needling, your physiotherapist will provide you with home instruction for maintaining your muscle’s length and relaxation. It is not uncommon to experience an ache in the treated muscles for a few hours after your treatment. The application of dry or moist heat can help to ease this temporary discomfort. After your treatment, you should experience a welcome improvement in mobility.

More information on Functional Dry Needling can be found at Kinetacore