IMS is a dry-needling technique (acupuncture needles, no injections) utilized to diminish chronic muscle spasms. When muscles compress the spine (due to a variety of reasons such as bad posture, stress, or injury), the affected vertebral segments will also suffer increased pressure, leading to nerve compression. Nerve compression causes muscle spasms locally and in the territory innervated by those nerves.
Even though different techniques can be used to improve the range of motion at the spine, if the muscles stay hypertonic, they will continue to compress the spine and cause chronic muscle spasms. IMS can reset the muscle and “reboot” the nervous system. It is effective for treating chronic cervicalgia and back pain, as well as chronic tendonitis caused by chronic muscle hypertonicity (example: forearm muscle spasms in tennis elbow) or recurrent muscle strains (particularly in calves, hamstrings, etc.).
The number of treatments required depends on the source of the pain, the patient’s age, the amount of time the pain has been endured, and other contributive factors (stress, bad posture, and overuse of the muscle during exercises or at work). Per Dr. Chan Gunn, founder of the IMS technique, an average of 8 to 9 treatments are necessary for effective results. To fully treat pain and muscle spasms, IMS treatments must be supplemented by restoration of range of motion, strength, stability, alignment, posture, and stress control.
For more information about IMS and the research conducted by Dr. Gunn, please visit the website for The Institute for the Study and Treatment of Pain: http://www.istop.org/index.html
Click here for information about the effects of dry needling on the thigh muscle strength and hip flexion of elite soccer players.