What’s worse than experiencing chronic or recurrent muscle pain? Not knowing the cause or how to treat it.
If you’re experiencing pain of unknown origins, you know how frustrating this can be. After turning to medical professionals to figure out what’s wrong, all the tests come back normal. There may be no physical signs of tissue inflammation.
But you’re still in pain.
You could be suffering from chronic musculoskeletal or neuropathic pain caused by nerve irritation or nerve dysfunction. When nerves are malfunctioning, the muscles they are connected to can become weak, tight and shortened—translation: painful. You feel like your muscles never relax.
Even without knowing the root cause of this pain and the stiffness that often comes with it, your symptoms or condition could be successfully treated with what’s known as intramuscular stimulation or IMS.
What is intramuscular stimulation (IMS)?
Intramuscular stimulation (IMS) is a technique that physiotherapists, who have completed IMS certification, use to release or lengthen muscles that are causing chronic musculoskeletal or neuropathic pain. Very fine needles (the same ones used in acupuncture) are inserted directly into the affected muscle, in order to stimulate healing. This is also often referred to, or known as, “dry needling.”
Vancouver-based physician Dr. Chan Gunn developed IMS in the ‘70s and now offers training and certification for other medical professionals at his Institute for the Study and Treatment of Pain (ISTOP) at the UBC Gunn IMS Centre in the Division of Sports Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia.