Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS)

What is Intramuscular Stimulation or Functional Dry Needling?

Intramuscular stimulation (IMS) or Functional Dry Needling (FDN) involves inserting a tiny monofilament needle into a muscle in order to release shortened bands of muscles tissue and decrease trigger point activity.  Dry needling is an effective treatment for acute and chronic pain, rehabilitation from injury, and even injury prevention. The definition of dry needling as per the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical therapists is described as the following:

Dry needling is a neurophysiological evidence-based treatment technique that requires effective manual assessment of the neuromuscular system. Physical therapists are well trained to utilize dry needling in conjunction with manual physical therapy interventions. Research supports that dry needling improves pain control, reduces muscle tension, normalizes biochemical and electrical dysfunction of motor end plates, and facilitates an accelerated return to active rehabilitation”

Is Intramuscular Stimulation or dry needling the same as acupuncture?

This is not traditional Chinese Acupuncture, but is instead a Western medicine based type of treatment. IMS is primarily directed at myofascial trigger points located within taut bands of muscle tissue. Traditional acupuncture uses points located along meridians. Meridians are channels of energy flow that make up a conceptual network of pathways throughout the entire body. 

What will I feel with IMS or FDN?

Most patients will not even feel the needle penetrate the skin, but once it has and is advanced into the muscle, the feeling of discomfort can vary drastically from patient to patient. Usually a healthy muscle feels very little discomfort from insertion of the needle; however if the muscle is sensitive, shortened or has active trigger points within it, the subject may feel a sensation much like a muscle cramp. This sensation is often referred to as a twitch response.

Is IMS or FDN an appropriate treatment technique for me?

IMS or FDN can be used to treat a large variety of musculoskeletal conditions but can also be used to treat neuromuscular conditions such as increased tone. To find out if IMS will be right for you, contact one of our physiotherapy locations to book an initial assessment.  

Ryan C Past client
I started going to Neuromotion after a car accident that broke my back. The first thing I noticed was the positive atmosphere, and the general concern for my overall progress. What else is great is having someone who is smart at what they do and ask about my goals. Doctors told me I would never walk again and now I can walk with two canes. I have completed my goals of walking 2 kilometres, walking up 25 flights of stairs, and taking a month-long road trip to Alaska thanks to Neuromotion!
Davin M Past volunteer
What makes the clinic so special is that is has such a positive atmosphere. Every time I go there, I am impressed by the determination of the clients, and how the therapists connect and motivate them to achieve their goals. The whole Neuromotion team really comes together to create an encouraging environment that is focused on the success of the clients. (Davin is now pursuing his degree in Physiotherapy at the University of British Columbia)
Lawrence M Client
Throughout the entire 11 month therapy I have received: compassionate care, consistency, competence, enthusiasm and above all else , the opinion that improvement was possible. Suffice to say , I shall continue therapy at Neuromotion and categorically encourage any person with CNS impairment to become a patient at Neuromotion; they will excel.  
Gordon C Client
I have an incomplete high-level spinal cord injury and I have been going to Neuromotion for over a year. I have since "graduated" from the Lokomat and I am now walking on the treadmill with my own power and full body weight. I would consider Neuromotion one of the most professional and competent physiotherapy providers in Metro Vancouver, particularly in the specialized field of treating people with neurological health issues that affect their mobility.
Ralph T Client
I have had foot drop for over a year - I started coming to the clinic and the progress has been quite impressive - I can now walk with almost no noticeable impact from the foot drop and have improved my gait.  I like the attitude in the clinic - upbeat, compassionate and personalized to my needs.
Laurel J Volunteer
I’m Laurel and I volunteer at Neuromotion Physiotherapy and have enjoyed my time here a lot. The staff and clients are all super friendly and welcoming, and create a positive atmosphere. I have learned quite a bit while I have been here and find practical experience to be more fulfilling than schoolwork, although you really do need both. I like seeing people work towards their goals and gain the confidence that they can reach them. I think Neuromotion helps people to live healthier lives!
Heather B Client
By coming to Neuromotion I came to understand exercise is not optional but imperative to living well with Parkinson's Disease.