Coping with pain and finding relief through IMS
Thousands of Canadians are coping with pain and finding relief with IMS. It is a safe, proven treatment that targets myofascial pain without the use of dangerous or addictive drugs. If you suffer from chronic pain, consider IMS treatment.
What is IMS?
IMS, otherwise known as Intramuscular Stimulation, effectively diagnoses and treats myofascial pain (chronic pain in the musculoskeletal system), using needles. It is similar to acupuncture, in some regards, but very different in others.
Dr. Chan Gunn developed IMS in British Colombia while working for the Workers Compensation Board of British Colombia. IMS is based on Western medical knowledge, particularly the radiculopathy pain model. For his work Dr. Chan Gunn was elected an Honorary Fellow of Peterhouse Cambridge University, as well as The Order of British Colombia and The Order of Canada.
How does IMS work?
IMS uses some tools and techniques borrowed from acupuncture – specifically the insertion of ultra-thin needles through the epidermis and into muscle tissue. Most patients find the insertion of needles to be relatively painless, and many even claim that they can’t feel them at all. A small minority sometime experience a stiffness in the muscle around the insertion site, but this is normal and is usually quickly followed by relief.
IMS treats myofascial pain, which is chronic pain occurring despite no obvious sign of damage. Patients should first be examined by a medical professional, to rule out other possible causes of pain. Unfortunately, because myofascial pain is neurological, it is completely undetectable by MRIs, CT scans, or X-rays. Once other causes of pain are ruled out, IMS may be the best treatment available.
Myofascial pain can be relieved by alleviating muscle shortening which compresses or inflames nerves – resulting in pain. IMS works by targeting the muscles, releasing the pressure and, by doing so, reducing nerve irritation.
To do so IMS uses a procedure often described as “dry needling” (dry because no medicine, painkillers or other substances coat the needle, nor are any medications injected into the body). ‘Needling’ the target muscle stimulates three physiological processes:
1) IMS relaxes and lengthens the muscles through the stretch receptor in the muscle
2) IMS triggers an electrical response in the muscle stimulating the nerve
3) IMS creates micro injuries which stimulate blood flow and trigger healing processes deep in the muscle.
IMS does not simply cover up pain, but actively treats the causes of pain. It may take multiple sessions to fully treat a pain site, because IMS is a cumulative treatment. Every time the nerve is stimulated the muscles relax and micro injuries heal, making the treatment more effective over time.