IMS | Salus Physio

By: Salus Physio  09-12-2011
Keywords: Physiotherapy Clinic

IMS is one of the treatment options offered at Salus Physiotherapy Clinic.

IMS uses fine needles (the same needles that are used in acupuncture) to treat tight muscle bands that are implicated in many chronic and painful soft tissue injuries and conditions. IMS is different from acupuncture in its application since the needle insertion is indicated by physical signs as opposed to the meridians or energy paths of Chinese acupuncture. IMS is based on known scientific, neurophysiologic principles.

Pain that shows no obvious sign of tissue damage or inflammation such as headaches, backaches, “tennis elbow”, “frozen shoulder”, chronic muscle pain and a host of other soft tissue complaints are difficult to treat with traditional methods.

The concept of “neuropathic pain” can help to explain this type of pain. Typically this occurs when nerves malfunction following minor irritation. Nerves and nerve endings become extremely sensitive and cause normal, harmless signals to be exaggerated and misperceived as painful ones. This is known as supersensitivity. The result is pain, even when medical tests show there is “nothing wrong”.

The most common cause of nerve irritation and neuropathic pain is spondylosis, which means degeneration in the spine. This can be the result of normal wear and tear to the discs and the joints of the spine. These wear and tear changes create narrowing of the discs and joints. Less space at the joints can cause irritation at the nerve roots. Thus spondylosis can lead to neuropathy and supersensitivity with resultant muscle spasm and tightness in the muscle groups supplied by that nerve. Chronic muscle spasm can lead to muscle shortening which produces pain by pulling on tendons and straining them as well as distressing the joints they move. Chronic muscle shortening may also contribute to degenerative changes in soft issues and joints such as tendinitis and osteoarthritis.

Supersensitivity cannot be operated on and muscle shortening from the supersensitivity does not always respond to stretching. Painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication only mask the pain. The goal of IMS is to release the shortened muscles which in turn will decrease the irritation of the nerves. In many people, supersensitive areas can be desensitized and the persistent pull of shortened muscles released with IMS.

The needle insertion into your skin is usually not felt and if your muscle is normal, the application is painless. If, however your muscle is supersensitive and shortened you will feel a sensation like a cramp or a Charlie horse as the needling causes the abnormal muscle shortening to intensify very briefly and then release. This is a distinctive type of discomfort caused by the muscle grasping the needle which then very quickly disappears and is followed by a feeling of relaxation in the muscle. It is important to experience this sensation in order to gain lasting relief.

The effects of IMS are cumulative – needling stimulates a certain amount of healing, until eventually the condition can more fully recover, pain dissipates and muscles loosen.

Treatments are usually once a week but can be spread out to two weeks, to allow time between treatments for the body to heal itself. The number of treatments you require will vary depending upon several factors such as the duration and extent of your condition, the amount of scar tissue there is and how quickly your body can heal. The rate of healing depends on the condition of your nerves and the amount of previous nerve irritation. If the pain is of recent origin, one or two treatments may be all that is necessary. More chronic problems will probably require more treatments. In published studies of patients with low back pain, the average number of IMS treatments required was 8.2.

Keywords: Physiotherapy Clinic

Other products and services from Salus Physio


Orthotics | Salus Physio

Your knee, hip and spinal movements will also be looked at, as they will provide more information for the fitting of an appropriate support or orthotic for you. A full assessment by your physiotherapist at Salus Physiotherapy, will check the amount of movement, the biomechanics and the position of your feet. Pain may not be the only indication for the need for orthotics, as biomechanical efficiency and control can also be helped with orthotics.


Sports Injuries | Salus Physio

It is a painful condition generally associated with sports involving repetitive jumping or impact loads, while lateral epicondylitis or â??tennis elbowâ?, is a form of repetitive stress injury at the elbow. Despite all the known benefits inherent to regular exercise, sometimes you can injure yourself when you play sports or exercise simply due to the nature of the activity.


Manipulation | Salus Physio

Those with malignant and inflammatory diseases, suspected fractures, osteoporosis, disordered mental states, and those who use or have used certain drugs/medications such as steroids and anti-clotting agents generally are not suitable candidates for spinal manipulation. Technically speaking, manipulation to sacro-iliac and rib joints is also â??spinalâ? manipulation, because the sacro-iliac and rib joints attach to the spine.


Physiotherapy | Salus Physio

The word physiotherapy is derived from the Greek words phusis which means â??natureâ? and from therapeia â??healing.â? Physiotherapy today is a form of natural healing assisting the bodyâ??s own powers of recovery and regeneration. Whether your injuries are acute or chronic, new or old, sports related or life-style related physiotherapy can be a key component to your healing process and to helping restore good health.


Manual Therapy | Salus Physio

Anyone who is suffering from an injury or disease that affects the joints, muscles, ligaments or tendons of the body may benefit from an assessment by one of the trained manual physiotherapists at Salus Physiotherapy Clinic. Manual therapy can help restore strength, decrease pain, increase your comfort and get you back to your activities.


Exercise Prescription and Core Stability

The physiotherapists at Salus will conduct a thorough assessment of your joints, muscles, nerves and other soft tissues and, if needed, will prescribe specific exercises as part of your treatment program. Exercise prescription is important in recovering from injury, it is an essential component in achieving and maintaining a healthy body.