IMS: The Latest In Chronic Pain Relief
Things you should know about IMS (Intramuscular Stimulation, or also known as Dry Needling)
Pain interrupts us from our work, distracts us during our daily routine, or even prevents us from doing what we love. There are no medical instruments to measure pain. Some suffer from chronic pain, which is defined by acute pain that lingers for months or even years. Painkillers can temporarily reduce the effects, but are much less effective if the pain is long lasting.
Symptoms of Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is defined as pain that does not subside after a reasonable length of time. The discomfort could be characterized as dull or sharp, aching or tightness. It is quite common for people with chronic pain to experience periodic depression as the symptoms seemingly have no end.
What is IMS
IMS was pioneered by Dr. Chan Gunn, while seeking a way to treat severe and long term stubborn cases of pain that would not go away with traditional techniques. IMS is a treatment approach for neuropathic myofascial pain syndromes (pain which originates from the nerves). Nerves and muscles work in tandem. When nerves change to a damaged or impaired state, the muscles they control can become vulnerable, shortened and sensitive. The IMS technique directly treats this neuropathic pain by desensitizing those nerves and muscles using acupuncture needles, along with tiny electrical pulses. It is particularly effective for deep muscle pains that are difficult to reach with other forms of treatment.
How IMS Can Treat Chronic Pain
IMS is a proven method for treating soft tissue pains where there is no obvious sign of damage. In our experiences, chronic pain can be treated effectively using IMS, even when most other treatments are ineffective. The treatment involves inserting needles into the tender muscle bands. The muscles will then grasp the needle, and results in what many patients describe as a "cramping sensation". This causes the shortened muscle band to lengthen, initiating healing as blood floods from the treated area, as well as stimulating the nerves to revert to a normal state.
Oftentimes, measurable changes are experienced by patients promptly. IMS has been able to treat chronic pains that have been lingering for months, or even years.
Could IMS Work For Me?
A physical examination from a trained IMS practitioner is essential to recognize the physical signs of neuropathic pain, as pain is undetectable with traditional medical instruments. After a physical examination is done, and your medical history is checked, you and your physiotherapist will decide together whether you would benefit from IMS treatment.
Are There Any Side Effects?
IMS is a minimally invasive procedure, and thus produces minimal side effects. Patients may report mild soreness, bruising, or bleeding for a short amount of time.