IMS is used to treat chronic or recurring pain of the myofascial system. The myofascial system encompasses the muscles, tendons and connective tissue that interconnects all areas of the body.
When an injury occurs, the body goes about repairing the involved area. But sometimes pain continues well after the injured tissues have healed. This type of ongoing pain is described by Dr. Gunn (developer of IMS) as neuropathic (nerve-related) pain. When a nerve is not firing properly, the result can be pain in the muscles that nerve supplies.
IMS is performed by training physiotherapists or physicians. The assessment focuses on finding the muscles affected by neuropathic pain as well as the corresponding nerves. Sterile acupuncture needles are then inserted into the tight muscle bands, usually causing a twitch or ache, and then a deep relaxation of the muscle. Immediate improvement of functional movement and decrease in pain is usually achieved. This twitch also stimulates the re-setting of the nerve, and normalizes the electrical input to the muscle.
If you have ongoing pain in your muscles, or an injury that keeps recurring, come see Sacha Lay PT at Endurance on 8th Health Centre to find out if IMS is right for you!