Pain and Injury Management, Concussion Rehabilitation, Vestibular and Dizziness
Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) is a system for the diagnosis and treatment of myofascial pain syndromes (chronic pain conditions that occur in the musculoskeletal system when there is no obvious sign of injury or inflammation). IMS is grounded in Western Medical Science and has a foundation in the 'radiculopathic' model of pain. The treatment utilizes acupuncture needles to target injured muscles that have become contracted and shortened from distress. The proposed effect is to relieve strain on muscle and joint structures which in turn leads to a decrease in pain.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body. A key component of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is most commonly used to treat pain. Increasingly, it is being used for overall wellness, including stress management.
Traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force — known as chi or qi (chee) — believed to flow through pathways (meridians) in your body. By inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will re-balance.
In contrast, many Western practitioners view the acupuncture points as places to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue. Some believe that this stimulation boosts your body's natural painkillers.
IMS uses a 'needling technique' as does acupuncture but they have different origins. Acupuncture is based on Chinese medicine, where needles are inserted into acupuncture points along body system meridians to treat a variety of conditions. IMS is based on Western Medicine. It recognizes that for a variety of reasons muscles shorten over time and as we age and place strain on their corresponding joints. An IMS needle is used to release the shortened muscle and decrease strain in the affected area. Gunn IMS is a specific dry needling technique taught at the University of British Columbia which recognizes 'subtle' neuropathy as a major component of chronic myofascial pain syndromes. Neuropathic Pain is usually described by the following:
If you have a chronic pain that hasn't resolved with conventional therapy and it sounds like the descriptions above you may benefit from IMS.