Vivian graduated with a Master’s of Science in Physical Therapy from Queen’s University in 2010. She moved to Calgary and has worked in private practice in Calgary since January of 2011 (Maximum Potential Physiotherapy since 2013 and Country Hills Physiotherapy since 2016). Vivian has a large focus on assessing and treating the body as a…Read More...
IMS Therapy Royal Oak Calgary NW. Insurance Covered
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
- 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
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…Read More...
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…Read More...
Joanna graduated from the University of Alberta in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy. Prior to this she pursued a Kinesiology degree at the University of Calgary. A lifelong learner, continuing education courses have fuelled Joanna’s passion for her profession. She has completed post-graduate courses in manual therapy, Anatomical Acupuncture, GunnIMS, pain…Read More...
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.