IMS Therapy Calgary NW Royal Oak

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IMS Therapy Royal Oak Calgary NW. Insurance Covered

IMS Therapy Calgary NW Royal Oak

Intramuscular stimulation (also known as IMS therapy) has grown in popularity and use in recent years. It is a dry needling technique that utilizes thin, flexible needles. Our careful, expert physiotherapist and certified IMS practitioners insert these needles into trigger points or knots in the muscles, ligaments, tendons, or near nerves in order to trigger a mechanical stimulation pain-relieving/healing response.

This is an amazing option that has been proven effective at treating underlying neuromusculoskeletal injuries that are chronic or long-lasting in nature. IMS is sometimes also referred to as dry needling. If you’re suffering from an issue that has been resistant to other types of treatment, surgery, or medications, there’s a good chance IMS therapy can help.

Minimally Invasive Dry Needling In Royal Oak Calgary

IMS therapy has proven itself in clinical studies to be highly effective at both treating your pain and healing the cause of the pain in your muscles.

With IMS therapy, there’s little to no risk of complications or uncomfortable side effects. One of the top reasons patients are choosing IMS therapy at our clinic is to avoid needing surgery, to promote injury recovery and ensure injury prevention. Many patients are also looking to alleviate their pain without the use of prescription medication that doesn’t actually address the underlying cause.

IMS therapy is an effective treatment that can even be performed after surgery to help you recover more quickly.

Some conditions commonly treated by IMS include:

  • Whiplash/Neck pain
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Pelvic pain
  • Hip pain
  • Shoulder pain / shoulder injuries
  • Back pain
  • Knee pain
  • Sports injury caused by repetitive strain or sports related injuries
  • Dance injury
  • Injuries motor vehicle accidents
  • Musculoskeletal injuries
  • Tennis elbow
  • Stiffness/Numbness in the legs
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Chronic tension/headaches
  • Frozen Shoulder/Rotator cuff tendinopathy
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Sciatica
  • Muscle shortening

What to Expect at Your First Appointment

At your first appointment for IMS therapy, your physiotherapist will start by getting a medical history and doing an assessment of your muscles to find out if IMS is the best treatment option for you. If yes, then you will be provided with a tailored custom treatment plan. Often, IMS works better when combined with other physiotherapy techniques such as manual therapy, massage therapy, manipulative physiotherapy which your physiotherapist might recommend.

Once your physiotherapist has discussed your health goals and an effective treatment plan with you, the treatment can begin whenever you are comfortable.

What Happens to the Muscles During IMS Physiotherapy

When your muscles are in knots or spasming we recognize it as being in a state of ‘shortening’. As the muscle fibers shorten they put pressure on nerve endings which can be incredibly painful and irritating.

IMS practitioners insert the dry needles into these shortening muscles in order to stimulate a response from the muscles stretch receptor. When the stretch receptor is activated the muscle responds by grabbing at the needle and then relaxing.

In a typical healthy muscle, there would be no response to the needle. The muscle would just stay relaxed around it. This is how practitioners can tell that they’ve successfully triggered the desired response from the stretch receptor.

In addition to relaxing these problem spots, inserting the needle also causes small amounts of inflammation which is useful in kick-starting your body’s own natural healing response. This is how over time with repeated treatments, IMS can assist your body in healing itself.

With the inflammation, you may feel a bit sore for a few days and you should expect to wait 1-2 weeks between sessions to allow your body to recover and have time to do the healing.

A Roadmap To Recovery

In addition to receiving highly specialized treatment, we also love to share our wealth of knowledge to help you make healthy decisions towards greater overall wellbeing. Feel free to ask questions at any point in the process.

Before you leave, we want to make sure you have a relevant therapeutic exercise prescription to help yourself in between sessions. We are prepared to advise on any activity adjustments that may improve your condition and overall health.

By taking a holistic approach towards your care, we will also ensure that you adapt to a more active lifestyle in the long run.

We’re here for you!

Our Physiotherapists Performing IMS

Vivian Overton Physiotherapist Photo

Vivian Overton


Vivian graduated with a Master’s of Science in Physical Therapy from Queen’s University in 2010. She moved to Calgary and has worked with PT Health since January of 2011. Vivian has a large focus on assessing and treating the body as a whole. She has advanced training in Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS), therapeutic taping, fire-glass cupping,…

Michael Kirby Physiotherapist Photo

Michael Kirby


Mike graduated with a Master’s of Science in Physical Therapy in 2016 from the University of Alberta. He also holds a Bachelor of Kinesiology degree from the University of Calgary. Mike is very passionate about continuing education and believes that by having more knowledge and technical skills he can help a wider range of people…

Gloria Kanuka Physiotherapist

Gloria Kanuka


Gloria graduated from the University of Calgary with a BSc in Kinesiology before completing her MSc in Physiotherapy at the University of Alberta. Since graduating, Gloria has completed additional training in a variety of manual therapy techniques and is level 2 certified in functional dry needling/IMS. In addition, Gloria has a special interest in prevention…

Dr. Richard Chambers, PT

Richard Chambers


Richard graduated with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in Austin, Tx in 2016. He worked in Montana for 6 months in a nursing facility after graduation and then returned to Canada. Upon returning to Canada he worked at 2 clinics in Lethbridge, AB for 4…


Frequently Asked Questions

How painful is IMS treatment?

Patient’s descriptions of pain while undergoing therapy vary quite a bit from person to person. Some report the procedure to be painless while others describe it as being similar to the pain from squeezing a pressure point. Some people even liken the experience to getting a charlie horse.
While the procedure provides immediate relief, you may feel soreness while your muscles heal from the procedure. After the recovery period, you should start to notice an improvement in your condition.

What exactly is a ‘dry’ needle?

The reason we refer to the needles used in IMS therapy as ‘dry’ is because they are different from the type used for injections and other procedures. It is a much thinner, monofilament needle.

How many IMS sessions do I need?

The number of sessions you’ll need will depend on the location of your particular issue and the severity of it.
Depending on your goal of treatment, patients utilizing IMS therapy for their lower back pain require, on average, 8 treatment sessions to fully resolve or greatly reduce their pain.

Will my extended medical plan cover IMS?

Yes. IMS or trigger point dry needling is covered as a form of physiotherapy under most extended medical plans. Our office provides direct billing to all the major insurance companies on your behalf to make things easy.
If you’re not really sure what your extended medical plan covers, you could just give your insurance company a quick call to check prior to your appointment.

IMS Therapy Health Care Royal Oak NW Calgary in Calgary

Successful IMS/Dry needling practices can be life-changing for people suffering daily from chronic pain and muscle tension. Don’t wait for the pain to get worse when you could be experiencing relief at your first visit. We’re ready to take the next step in your journey with you.

Our team of therapists have advanced training and years of extensive experience. Give us a call and book your appointment for IMS today.

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Country Hills Physiotherapy

8730 Country Hills Blvd NW #230, Calgary, AB T3G 0E2, Canada

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