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Alleviate Chronic Pain with Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS)

Tight, stiff muscles? Recovering from an injury? Headaches or neck and shoulder pain from sitting at your computer for too long? Dry needling (also called intramuscular stimulation or, IMS) is a safe treatment option for pain management, prevention and relaxation.

“Hands down the best acupuncture treatment I have ever received. I have been the lucky recipient of 3 acupuncture treatments over the last 3 weeks, using the dry needling technique & gentle pulsating charge to help wake up my muscles. The results are amazing. Nearly all pain is gone and my mobility is completely restored. THANK YOU ALA!” – Suzy

What is Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS), or Dry Needling?

Acupuncture is based on meridian theory and all of the diagnostic tools Chinese medicine utilizes (pulse taking, intake questionnaire, etc.). Dry needling uses the same needles as acupuncture but follows a different rationale for placement of the needles. IMS is performed in active trigger points; tender areas that can be felt in the bands of muscle fibers that cause pain when pressed. Referred pain can be caused by these active areas to neighbouring muscles. Some of the trigger point areas overlap with acupuncture point locations. 

As an integrative approach, I often use dry needling in conjunction with acupuncture treatments. At times, electrical current may also be used with the needle in the trigger point area to cause the muscle to contract and relax in an effort to heal the surrounding tissue.

What Conditions is IMS Used to Treat?

Some common musculoskeletal conditions include:

  • Knots and muscle tightness
  • Neck, back and shoulder pain
  • Sciatica
  • Whiplash
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Shin splints
  • Plantar Fasciitis

More Information About IMS/Dry Needling

Does IMS Hurt?

The needles are extremely fine and relatively painless when inserted into a normal muscle. In trouble areas where muscles are very tight, the muscle will ‘grasp’ the needle and any discomfort you feel is temporary.

Are There Any Side Effects?
The treatment gives your muscles a bit of a workout, so you may feel fatigued after your treatment, and your muscles may feel a little dull or achy. This is only temporary and a heat pack or warm bath is recommended.

How Many Visits Do I Need?
Everybody responds differently to dry needling, but improvements are generally seen after the first session. Some may only need a few sessions, whereas those with chronic long-standing pain will likely need more sessions.

Relieve Pain and Rejuvenate Your Muscles With IMS

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