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Treating Pain with IMS

IMS, Intramuscular StimulationDiscover the benefits of Capilano’s Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) program. This technique, sometimes referred to as dry needling, is minimally invasive and can reduce nagging pain aggravated by chronic muscle tightness.

What is IMS? 

IMS can reach problem areas that lie deep in a muscle.  Gunn-certified Capilano IMS physiotherapists insert thin (filament acupuncture-like) needles into tense muscle bands.  When the needles penetrate the tension control area, they help relax the bands and release the neurochemicals that are causing pain.  Once the muscle tension is reduced, the blood flow increases and the body’s natural healing processes are activated.  The muscle can then begin to function normal and pain is reduced.

What Does it Treat? 

Chronic neck pain, shoulder pain, hip pain, and low back pain are commonly treated with IMS at Capilano Rehab.

How Effective is IMS? 

There is a growing body of published evidence showing the benefits of IMS for chronic neuropathic pain injuries.

Does it Hurt?

IMS needles are very fine so there is minimal discomfort upon entry for most areas.  Once the needles penetrate the tension point, you can expect a dull pain, similar to someone pressing on a mild bruise.  Calf muscles can sometimes be the exception, they tend to be a little bit more sensitive.  The needles could remain in the tension area for 5-10 minutes, or they could be inserted and withdrawn multiple times.  It all depends on the location and the problem.  You may have some latent soreness for the next 24 hours over the treated area. 

IMS Treatment Plan?

Typically, patients require from two to seven sessions over the course of 4-5 weeks.  IMS can be combined with other treatment modalities such as spinal mobilization and therapeutic exercise.  If the problem doesn’t improve, then further diagnostic testing and/or treatment options need to be explored. 

At Capilano Rehab, we offer our patients a wider variety of treatments to help resolve the pain or discomfort caused by sports injuries, motor vehicle accidents, and chronic conditions.  Call us today at 780-466-1104 and let our IMS program help you wake up to pain free living!


Capilano Rehab Centre | Physical Therapy Capilano physical therapists have provided state-of-the-art physical therapy, sports physiotherapy, back pain, WCB, accident, whiplash and injury rehab to clients in Edmonton for over 10 years.

5832 Terrace Rd Edmonton, AB. T6A 3Y8

(780) 466-1104


Chronic Pain, IMS, Intramuscular stimulation

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