What is IMS (intramuscular stimulation)
IMS (intramuscular stimulation) has only one similarity to traditional acupuncture: both involves the insertion of needles into the body to relieve pain.
Rather than focusing on pre-mapped points in the body that relate to different organs, muscles, and nerves (as traditional acupuncture does), with IMS the physiotherapist will assess each individual client’s skin, posture, and movement to work out which areas and muscles of the body have underlying nerve irritation. The assessment will then determine where and how the physiotherapist treats the client based on a tailored treatment plan.
Your physiotherapist targets a specific muscle with IMS treatments. The needles are not left in your body for 15 minutes but are pulled in and out as the physiotherapist feels the tightness of the muscle and stimulates it accordingly. Banded (tight/knotted) muscles will contract and cramp, but usually releases instantly. This produces improved function and immediate and lasting pain relief. The physiotherapist then removes the needle and moves onto the next point.
The process of IMS is usually described as uncomfortable but not painful. During the treatment you can expect to feel a deep ache and a twitch response which is normal. You might feel some soreness for 24 hours, but this is usually minimal and won’t affect your daily life activities. Hydration by drinking water, movement, and the exercises your physiotherapist give you are highly recommended to do after an IMS treatment.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding IMS, get in touch with one of our physiotherapists by clicking on the contact form or send us an email.
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