IMS Intramuscular Stimulation

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Benefits of IMS Intramuscular Stimulation: A Comprehensive Guide


Intramuscular stimulation (IMS), also known as dry needling, is a modern therapy technique used to treat musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. It involves the insertion of a thin needle into the muscle to elicit a twitch response and release muscle tension. The technique has gained popularity in recent years due to its effectiveness in treating a variety of conditions. However, patients may wonder how long it takes for IMS to work and if the treatment is painful.

How Long Does It Take for IMS to Work?

The length of time it takes for IMS to work can vary depending on the patient’s condition and the severity of their symptoms. Some patients may experience immediate relief, while others may require multiple sessions to achieve the desired outcome. In general, patients can expect to see an improvement in their symptoms within a few days to a week after treatment.

Is IMS Treatment Painful?

The level of discomfort experienced during IMS treatment can vary depending on the patient’s pain tolerance and the practitioner’s technique. Some patients may experience a mild sensation or a slight ache during needle insertion, while others may experience a more intense sensation. However, the discomfort is typically short-lived and can be managed with proper communication between the patient and practitioner.

Intramuscular Stimulation Side Effects

While IMS is generally considered a safe and effective treatment, there are some potential side effects to consider. These can include bruising, bleeding, and soreness at the needle insertion site. In rare cases, patients may experience more serious side effects, such as infection or vasovagal.Patients with certain medical conditions, such as bleeding disorders or pacemakers, should also exercise extreme caution when considering IMS (preferably exclude them from this type of treatments).

IMS Treatment Reviews

IMS treatment has received positive reviews from many patients who have experienced significant improvements in their symptoms. However, it is important to note that results may vary depending on the patient’s condition and individual response to treatment. Patients should also be aware of the potential risks and side effects and discuss any concerns with their healthcare provider/physiotherapist before undergoing treatment.


IMS, or dry needling, is asafe and effective technique used to treat musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. Patients can expect to see an improvement in their symptoms within a few days to a week after treatment. While the treatment may cause some discomfort, it is generally well-tolerated and has received positive reviews from many patients. However, patients should be aware of potential side effects and contraindications, and should discuss any concerns with their healthcare provider before undergoing treatment.


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Can IMS be used as a standalone treatment or is it typically combined with other therapies?

IMS can be used both as a standalone treatment and in combination with other therapies, depending on the specific needs of the individual. In some cases, IMS may be effective as a standalone treatment, particularly for addressing muscle-related pain and dysfunction. However, it is also common for IMS to be integrated into comprehensive treatment plans that may include other modalities such as physical therapy, exercise, manual therapy, or medication management. The decision to use IMS alone or in combination with other therapies will depend on the nature of the condition, the preferences of the healthcare provider, and the individual’s response to treatment.

What can I expect during an IMS session?

During an IMS session, you can expect the following:

  1. Assessment: The practitioner will begin by assessing your condition and gathering information about your symptoms and medical history.
  2. Needle insertion: Thin acupuncture needles will be inserted into specific trigger points or tight muscles identified during the assessment. You may feel a sensation of pressure or a mild twitch response.
  3. Sensations and feedback: You may experience a dull ache, muscle twitches, or a temporary increase in pain during the session. It is important to communicate any sensations or discomfort to the practitioner for appropriate adjustments.
  4. Post-session guidance: After the needles are removed, the practitioner may provide instructions on post-session care, including stretching, exercises, or self-care techniques to support the effects of IMS.

Please note that the exact procedures and techniques may vary depending on the practitioner and your specific condition.

Are there any self-care techniques or exercises that can complement IMS?

Yes, there are several self-care techniques and exercises that can complement Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS):

  1. Stretching: Gentle stretching exercises targeting the muscles addressed during IMS can help maintain flexibility and prevent muscle tension from recurring.
  2. Strengthening exercises: Specific strengthening exercises recommended by your healthcare provider can help improve muscle imbalances and support the effectiveness of IMS.
  3. Self-massage: Applying gentle pressure or using foam rollers or massage balls on the treated muscles can help reduce muscle tightness and promote relaxation between IMS sessions.
  4. Postural awareness and ergonomics: Paying attention to your posture and making ergonomic adjustments in your daily activities or work environment can help prevent muscle strain and support the benefits of IMS.

It is essential to consult with your healthcare provider or IMS practitioner for personalized guidance on the most appropriate self-care techniques and exercises for your specific condition. They can provide recommendations tailored to your needs and ensure you perform them correctly and safely.

Is IMS a painful procedure?

The experience of pain during Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) can vary from person to person. During the procedure, you may feel a sensation of pressure, a mild ache, or muscle twitches. Some discomfort or temporary increase in pain can be expected, especially when the needles are inserted into trigger points. However, the level of pain is typically well-tolerated and temporary. The practitioner will work closely with you to ensure your comfort and adjust the treatment as needed based on your feedback.

Last reviewed on May 11. 2023 by Ahmad Rezvnai, Registered PT 

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