Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS)
Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) is a total 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 is now supported by many experts in the field. The treatment specifically targets injured muscles that have contracted and become shortened. It involves dry needling of affected areas of the body without injecting any substance. The needle sites can be at the epicenter of taut, tender muscle bands, or they can be near the spine where the nerve root may have become irritated and supersensitive.
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:
A stretch receptor in the muscle is stimulated, producing a reflex muscle lengthening.
The needle causes a small injury that draws blood to the area, initiating the natural healing process.
The treatment helps the nerve function normally again.
The goal of IMS treatment is to release a shortened muscle, which presses on and irritates the nerve. Supersensitive areas can be desensitized and the persistent pull of shortened muscles can be relaxed. IMS is very effective for releasing shortened muscles under contracture, thereby causing mechanical pain from muscle pull.