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What is the Difference between IMS, Dry Needling and Acupuncture

Posted in Physiotherapy on Jul 17, 2019.

What IS the difference between IMS, Dry Needling, and Acupuncture? By Kathy Murdoch


There are many ways to use needles to affect change in local tissue or whole body systems.  In this article, I explain the key differences between IMS (intramuscular stimulation), Dry Needling, and traditional Acupuncture.

Needles

In terms of the tools involved, they all use fine needles, except the IMS needles are slightly thicker.

The technique and goals of treatment.

Dry needling is primarily directed at trigger points, which are identified as tender
palpable points within the muscle. Dry needling involves insertion of an acupuncture needle into these trigger points to release the tightness.

IMS differs from dry needling in that IMS is a total system for the diagnosis and
treatment of chronic pain of a neuropathic origin.

Neuropathic pain occurs when nerves malfunction following injury or tissue irritation. Nerve endings become overly sensitive and begin to interpret normal sensations as pain. IMS relies
heavily on a thorough physical examination by a certified practitioner trained to
recognize the physical signs of neuropathic pain.

The treatment involves needling of affected areas of the body, which can be muscles in the periphery, or they can be near the spine where the nerve root may have become irritated. Only one
needle is inserted at a time and stays in for only a few seconds; multiple muscles
may be treated in one session. This type of needling creates some muscle
soreness during treatment and may last for a few hours to a day or two. This
temporary discomfort is followed by significant muscle relaxation, improved
mobility and reduction of pain.

Like IMS, traditional acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles;
however the technique and purpose are very different from each other.
Traditional acupuncture is very gentle with only mild discomfort association with
insertion of the needles. Selection of treatment areas are based on the principles
of Chinese meridians (channels of energy flow in the body). In traditional
acupuncture the needles are typically left in for 15-20 minutes or longer and the
purpose is to stimulate the body’s release of natural painkillers (endorphins) and
anti-inflammatory substances. Traditional acupuncture produces effects in areas of the
body other than just the area of needling.

Shelbourne Physiotherapy, Pilates & Massage is a locally owned health company with 3 locations in beautiful Victoria & Saanich, British Columbia. Our clinics offer Physiotherapy, IMS (Intramuscular Stimulation) & Dry Needling, Kinesiology, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Sports Rehabilitation, Post-Operative Rehabilitation, Vestibular, Dizziness & Balance Rehabilitation, Women's health (peri-partum and incontinence), Acupuncture, Hydrotherapy, Scoliosis Treatment,  Clinical Osteofit Classes, Osteoporosis TreatmentAquatherapy, Pool Therapy, Real Time Ultrasound, Arthritis and Osteoarthritis Treatment, Electrical Modalities, Pelvic Floor Physio, Pelvic Pain Physiotherapy, Incontinence Treatment, Thoracic Ring Approach Physiotherapy TreatmentSports Physiotherapy, Chronic Pain Treatment,  Shockwave Therapy (ESWT), Aquatic Therapy, Yoga, Yogalates, Saanich PhysiotherapyPolestar Pilates, Stott Pilates, Clinical Pilates, PIlates Instructor Training in Victoria BCScoliosis Treatment and Custom Knee Bracing, Physiocanhelp.ca.

Our clinics are approved providers for WorksafeBC (WCB) Physiotherapy and ICBC Physiotherapy, Kinesiology & Rehabilitation. We are proud members of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA), the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Therapy(CAMPT), Sport Physiotherapy Canada, SportmedBC, British Columbia Association of Kinesiologists (BCAK), Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP), Vestibular Disorders Association, ISST International Schroth 3D Scoliosis TherapyInternational Society for Medical Shockwave Treatment (ISMST), Think Local Victoria, Canadian Federation of Independent Business(CFIB),  the Orthopaedic Division of the CPA and the Physiotherapy Association of British Columbia (PABC) We have a clinic located in the Gordon Head Recreation Centre in Saanich

Shelbourne Physiotherapy staff provide clinical instruction at our Victoria Clinic for students in the UBC Faculty of Medicine. We are an accredited facility for UBC Dept. of Physical Therapy Student Practicums. 

Our 3 Victoria Physiotherapy clinics are modern and provide a relaxed healing atmosphere with private rooms available. Many Physiotherapy clinics in Victoria work out of a single room or a basement that does not offer the equipment, resources or space to help you recover properly. Our convenient locations make our clinics easy to access from all the neighbourhoods of Victoria, Saanich, Esquimalt and Oak Bay such as Dockside Physiotherapy GreenFairfield, James Bay, Oaklands, Fernwood, Harris Green, Jubilee, Hillside QuadraGonzales, Rockland, Gordon Head, Cadboro Bay, Uplands, Downtown Victoria, Cordova Bay, Arbutus, Camosun College Lansdowne Campus and the Songhees. We offer appointment times ranging from 7:00AM to 7:00PM for your convenience.Our Multidisciplinary Health Clinic is located right across the street from the Hillside Shopping Centre. we share a building with the Shelbourne Medical Centre which has a walk in clinic and many great General Practitioners.

Think Local First Shelbourne PhysiotherapyWe are a friendly, local Victoria & Saanich owned and community based health company designed to meet your individual needs. Our mission is to provide Physiotherapy and related services to the communities of Victoria, Saanich, Oak Bay, Victoria West and Esquimalt and help keep these residents active and healthy. We strive to creatively and professionally maximize client functioning and promote life-long wellness.

Our experienced and dedicated Health Care Professionals include Victoria & Saanich Physiotherapists Penny Salmas, Jennifer Kolot, Mark Gottfried, Nicole Gill, Jenna Peters, Brad Curry, Andrew Mills, Meena Sran, Phil Lawrence, Jessica Shave, Kim Lobb, Kathy Murdoch, Laura Werner, Rosie Chamberlin, Ruan Le Roux, Nina Bai, Seung Bai, Eimear Brogan, Faralay Vander Schilden, Kira Crover,  Sarah HubbsMary-Anne LevsonAlex Thompson , Victoria Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist Miriam Haistein,  Hilary Beck and Blair Braz. Our experienced Victoria BC Kinesiologists include Kira CroverHeidi Nottelman, Larry Muir, Radek WiecheckiLindsey Tabish and Madeline Juba. Our experienced Victoria & Saanich BC Registered Massage Therapists include Taryn Krizan, Selena Curvelo, Jennifer KoebernickKathy Pantalon, T'airah Bowker RMTMolly Scott, Jessica Bundy RMT and Rebekah Neubert. Our Certified Victoria Pilates and Yoga Instructors include Sharon McAuley, Dana Carter, Chris Csak, Alex ThompsonAmanda RostsHolly Newton, Regina Flueck, Rhiannon King and Jenny Stewart.


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