What To Know

Intramuscular Stimulation in Vancouver (IMS)

IMS is short for Intramuscular Stimulation. It is the insertion of extremely fine needles into tight bands within muscles to cause a release of the tightness. The tight bands within the muscles are responsible for shortening and compression across the joints causing pain, inflammation and restriction. Typically, the tight bands do not respond to stretching or massage and require the stimulation of the needle tip to cause the release.

Often the patient reports a twitch, a deep achey feeling or a pressure when undergoing IMS. The needles are solid and do not deliver any solution – this is why it is known as a “dry needling” technique. The needle is inserted into the muscle band, the response is provoked, the needle is removed. The needle is not left in the muscle for any length of time. Multiple insertions may be made as the therapist may need to release many tight bands.

For Physios, special training is required to administer IMS / Dry Needling. The most common IMS training in Vancouver is GunnIMS, named after its developer Dr. Chan Gunn and the other is Functional Dry Needling (FDN). Other IMS educators are being accredited in BC. Look for the designation GunnIMS or IMS or FDN after the physio’s name.

Physiotherapists who practice IMS / Dry Needling at Dunbar Physio are Nick Britnell, Peter Curtain, Bo Jakab, Haiyun “Winnie” Liang, Anand Shetty and Renata Szado.

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