Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) is very effective for problems due to a type of problem known as neuropathic pain. With neuropathic pain, nerves malfunction following minor irritation. Nerves and nerve endings become extremely sensitive and cause innocent, harmless signals to be exaggerated and misinterpreted as painful ones. This characteristic is known medically as hypersensitivity. The result is pain. This minor malfunction of a nerve cannot be measured using standard medical tests; therefore tests often show nothing wrong. Until recently, hypersensitivity has received little attention in medical circles.
Although IMS uses implements adapted from traditional acupuncture, it is based on scientific, neurophysiological principles. The acupuncture needle used is very thin (much thinner than the hollow needle used to inject medicine or take blood). You may not even feel it penetrating the skin, and if your muscle is normal, the needle is painless. However, a shortened, supersensitive muscle will ‘grasp’ the needle in what can be described as a cramping sensation. The result is threefold. One, a stretch receptor in the muscle is stimulated, producing a reflex relaxation (lengthening). Two, the needle also causes a small injury that draws blood to the area, initiating the natural healing process. Three, the treatment creates an electrical potential in the muscle to stimulate the nerve to function normally again.
When competently performed, IMS has a remarkable success rate, as proven by the amelioration of symptoms and signs, even for chronic back pain with nerve root signs. The technique is also unequalled for finding and diagnosing muscle shortening in deep muscles. IMS is effective and has few side-effects.
For more information contact one of our expert physiotherapists.