Intramuscular Treatment
(IMS) / Acupuncture

Intramuscular Treatment
(IMS) / Acupuncture

What is Intramuscular Treatment (IMS) / Acupuncture in Edmonton

Intramuscular Stimulation, a type of dry needling, is a physio treatment used to treat chronic pain. It targets taut and tender muscle bands and supersensitive nerves near the spine and exit nerve points. IMS treatment uses acupuncture needles to release tense muscles, trigger points, and chronic pain. The insertion of the needle into the muscle sometimes creates a muscle "twitch", or an achey feeling. This response helps the muscle to relax by sending a reflex to the spinal cord.
IMS is beneficial for a variety of pain conditions. It tends to respond very well to nerve pain, chronically tight muscles, and conditions resistant to manual trigger point release. IMS is believed to work by desensitizing nerves and muscles using typical acupuncture needles.
The goal of IMS is to restore muscle function/strength and relieve pain. 

Why IMS for Pain?

IMS needling is an effective way to reduce pain in the muscle or trigger point. Once the pain and tension in the muscle improves the muscle is able to work more effectively and efficiently. Many patients report that this type of relief allows them to work on strength and participate in a work out program more easily. 

How Many Treatments Do I Need? 

Typically, most patients require 3-8 treatments to see longer standing results. As the tissue begins to respond, less sore spots are noticable and the muscle will fire more easily and with balance and strength. It is important to follow your muscle activation exercises which will improve the treatment and your long term outcomes. 

Who Gets IMS? 

IMS physiotherapist practitioners perform a complete assessment including a medical history and specific physical testing for the diagnosis. Once a full assessment is complete, your therapist will let you know if you are a good candidate. In same cases, out of town patients can call and talk to the physical therapist for a brief consult. This is often enough for the patient to know their chances of success. If IMS treatment is indicated, sessions are usually scheduled once per week to allow time for the body to heal.

Whats The Difference Between Acupuncture? 

Unlike conventional methods, intramuscular stimulation is dependent on a specific, thorough, physical examination. Since chronic pain often accompanies some sort or neurological dysfunction, it often doesn’t specifically show up on X-rays, and other scans. If you aren’t sure that IMS treatments are right for you, seek out a general physio appointment, and we can create a custom plan that meets your needs.

What Does it Feel Like? 

Most IMS treatments are relatively painless and can be adjusted to meet the needs go each patient. A cramping sensation can at times be felt, especially when inserting into shortened and hypersensitive muscle. If you have experienced too much pain during IMS previously, it might mean that you have had to much stimulation for the amount of sensitivity in your nervous system. We approach this powerful technique to meet the needs of all individual patients, and can create change without causing pain. 

What to Expect Post Treatment

  • An achy, fatigued feeling in the muscles that were needled
  • An instant increase in range of motion and strength in the affected area
  • Decrease tight and painful muscles
  • Reduction in neuropathic signs: reduced tenderness, reduced skin irritation
  • Application of heat can be helpful immediately following the treatment and over the 24-36 hours post-treatment

How Does IMS Work 


Identify Tight Muscle

Your therapist will palpate
muscles to identify tension, pain, and trigger points.


Insert Needle Into Muscle

Your therapist will insert the needle into the muscle. The needle may be gently moved in the muscle. 

Remove Needle

The needle is removed after 5-15 seconds. 

step 4

Recheck Strength and Muscle Length

The muscle will be re-checked to confirm the reduction of tension in the muscle. 

What is Electro-IMS? 

Electro-Acupuncture/IMS is way to release very stubborn and chronic muscular pain. Two needles are inserted into the tight muscles band and an electrode is attached to each of the needles. A gentle electric stimulation is then transferred through the needle and into the tight muscle. This is a very nice and pain free option to help realize very stubborn muscle tightness and pain. 

Treatable Conditions 

Chronic Neck Pain
Neck Arthritis 
Nerve Pain
Segmental Dysfunction 

Shoulder Pain
Rotator Cuff 
Tennis Elbow
Sprain / Strain
Golfers Elbow
Carpal Tunnel 
Wrist Tendinitis 
Mid Back Pain
Tight Rib Joints
Spinal Pain
Low Back Pain 
Hip Pain
Hip OA
Ankle Conditions 

Other Treatable Conditions 

  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Arthritic conditions
  • Chronic Tendonitis
  • Bursitis
  • Headaches
  • Low back pain
  • Myofascial Pain Syndrome
  • Patellofemoral syndrome
  • Plantar fascitis
  • Persistent Injuries
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • Sciatica/piriformis syndrome
  • Spinal disc problems
Other Treatable Conditions

Our Approach 

Success with any treatment involves identifying some key facts:
  • Where the pain is coming from?
  • Why the pain is happening?
  • What muscles or joints are compensating?

Why it Works

"Every patient contains a truth"
  • The importance here is that we all have a different story.
  • Our injuries and trauma present differently and require a unique program, exercise, or treatment.

Relief For Chronic Muscle Pain

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

IMS is rarely used in isolation. Typically, it is used as a combination of treatments that aim to restore joint, muscle and tendon movement. Strength is a vital component of treatment for most injuries and will be part of a strong Rehab Program!

How to Access Treatment? 

If you think you have a condition that may benefit from IMS, simply make an appointment with one of our registered physiotherapists. They will assess you and will offer advice on the BEST treatment options! We will answer any further questions that you may have and you do not need a doctor’s referral to see a physiotherapist! 
How to Access Treatment?

Get Relief And Remove
Chronically Tight Muscles

Your success is Here!