Chronic pain from peripheral neuropathy and other neuropathic conditions can undoubtedly take a toll on your daily routine. While the pain may keep reoccurring due to its chronic nature, there are treatments that can help treat and manage it, such as Intramuscular Stimulation. Commonly referred to as IMS (for short) or dry needling, IMS is an effective treatment for patients suffering from musculoskeletal problems and stubborn chronic pain.
At Premier Care Physiotherapy, our team of highly skilled therapists in Richmond Hill understand that neuropathic pain can be detrimental to one’s quality of life. That’s why we make it our priority to provide patients with effective pain management solutions, starting with IMS treatments — proven to provide lasting relief to patients with chronic neuropathic pain.
Interested to learn more about IMS treatments and who can benefit from it? Keep reading:
What is an IMS treatment?
Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) is a technique used by trained physiotherapists to help treat and manage chronic pain associated with a broad range of musculoskeletal conditions including (but not limited to):
- Chronic tendonitis, bursitis, and other arthritic conditions
- Lower back pain
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Neck pain and Whiplash
- Repetitive/persistent sports related injuries and strains
- Shin splints
- Spinal Disc Problems
During IMS treatments, a licensed physiotherapist will insert very fine needles into the body to stimulate specific parts to reduce tension and relieve pain for patients suffering from chronic conditions.
However, while the thought of having needles penetrate through your skin may seem daunting at first, many patients who have received IMS treatments describe the process as virtually painless (if they have normal muscles), or a slight sensation of a muscle cramp (if they have shortened or super-sensitive muscles). This cramping sensation described by patients is a direct result of their muscles successfully grasping onto the needle inserted; when this happens, the abnormal muscle is intensifying and releasing, allowing patients to fully experience pain relief.
Who Can Benefit From IMS Treatments?
While there are no real limitations on who can receive an IMS treatment, dry needling is typically only recommended for the following patients:
- Patients with neuropathic pain
- Patients who have not found pain relief with other forms of physiotherapy treatments
- Patients who are not pregnant
- Patients with no infection in the area they wish to treat
- Patients without a history of hemophilia
What are the Benefits of IMS Treatments?
The main benefit of an IMS treatment is pain relief. During an IMS treatment, the neuropathic muscle shortening is released and super sensitive nerves–along with the areas that they serve– quickly become desensitized. In this case, the “release” allows the muscle to resume its normal function and state, alleviating pressure and irritation (which caused the mechanical pain in the first place) around the nerve.
How Often Are IMS Treatments Necessary?
Generally, IMS patients receive treatment once a week; this allows the patient’s body to heal itself between treatments, ensuring the best results possible. However, it should be noted that the number of treatments required to achieve complete relief depends on the severity of each patient’s condition. When receiving IMS treatments from our licensed physiotherapists, you can expect to receive a personalized treatment plan to meet your needs. Factors that could increase the amount of IMS treatments required include: the duration and extent of a patient’s symptoms, the presence of scar tissue, and how quickly the patient’s body is capable of healing itself.