Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS)
WHAT IS IMS (Intramuscular Stimulation)?
Our bodies have an exceptional capacity to heal themselves. We have all experienced cuts and scrapes and observed how efficiently our body is able to heal that injury. This healing power is not limited to cuts and scrapes, but applies to many many tissues in the body including damaged or strained muscles. When muscle spasm and pain does not heal itself medical practitioners are often perplexed. In the absence of any signs of tissue damage or inflammation practitioners are not able to explain the cause of ongoing pain. Patients suffering from chronic muscle pain often become frustrated as repeated trials of various forms of treatments fail, or when they are told that nothing can be done for their pain.
HOW WAS IMS FOUNDED?
From 1966 until 1980 Dr. Gunn was a member of the medical staff of the Workers’ Compensation Board Rehabilitation Clinic in Vancouver. It was here where he encountered many patients suffering from chronic muscle pain, in the absence of any obvious tissue damage or inflammation. While working with this population he observed consistent similarities and objective findings among these patients. It was this experience that led him to explain the cause of their ongoing pain, Peripheral Neuropathy, and subsequently develop the IMS treatment model. Dr Gunn has been awarded the Order of British Columbia and became a member of the Order of Canada.
WHAT IS PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY?
Neuropathy is defined as a nerve that is not functioning properly. When a peripheral nerve is not functioning properly, it adversely impacts the muscles that it innervates. This can result in shortening of the muscles, which subsequently causes mechanical pain as the shortened muscles pull on tendons and joints. The most crucial shortening occurs in the deep back muscles, where shortening can result in disc compression and facet joint irritation.
WHAT IS IMS TREATMENT?
IMS relies heavily on a thorough examination of the patient by a competent practitioner, trained to recognize the signs of peripheral neuropathy. Small needles are placed directly into the muscle. Due to the small size of the needle, the typical sharp pinching pain associated with Doctors' or Dentists' needles is not usually present. Penetration of a normal muscle is painless; however, a shortened muscle is supersensitive and will therefore respond to the needle by “grasping” the needle. Patients describe this sensation as a deep cramping. The stimulus of the muscle via penetration and subsequent “grasping” has three distinct results.
- A reflex is produced within the muscle via a stretch receptor that results in a reflex relaxation of the muscle.
- The needle causes a small injury in the muscle that initiates the natural healing process.
- The treatment creates an electrical potential in the muscle to restore normal nerve function.
DOES IMS WORK?
When competently performed, IMS has a remarkable success rate. Extensive medical research has validated the effectiveness of this treatment. Current IMS research: http://www.istop.org/research.html. Therapists at Dynamic Physiotheerapy have over 20 years of combined experience performing IMS treatments. Okotoks IMS treatments can be scheduled by contacting our office.
DOES MY PHYSIOTHERAPY INSURANCE COVER IMS?
Yes. IMS is implemented as a part of a complete physiotherapy treatment program at Dynamic Physiotherapy Okotoks. All IMS treatments are therefore billed as a physiotherapy treatment. Dynamic Physiotherapy makes accessing your physiotherapy benefits in your private health care plan easy by offering DIRECT BILLING SERVICES. Simply bring your health care plan card to your first visit and our staff will determine if your plan is eligible for direct billing services. We currently offer direct billing services for the following insurers;
Great West Life
Alberta Blue Cross
Sun Life Financial
Green Shield Canada
Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan
Alberta School Employee Benefit Plan
And several more.....