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Dry Needling Therapy / IMS

What is IMS/ Dry Needling?

This therapy is specifically refer to the research base work done by Dr. Gunn. Registered Physiotherapists are trained by certified teachers of Dry Needling that are recognized by BC College of Physical Therapists. Dry need ling, also known as Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS), are frequently interchanged.
Dry needling is comparable to acupuncture, but differs from it in some critical ways. For one, dry needling is performed by a Physiotherapist only following a thorough physical examination and diagnosis.



The examination is critical because chronic pain is often neurological, as opposed to physical. That is, the affected areas are not detectable by X-ray, MRI or CT scans. Another distinction is that needles are only inserted into areas diagnosed as trigger points, not into a meridian designated by acupuncture theory and practice. Thirdly, in dry needling, results and effects are usually experienced as soon as the needle is inserted in the trigger point. The initial examination will have pinpointed areas of the body that need to be released and others that need to be strengthened. Balance is the key.


In the dry needling procedure, the practitioner inserts a needle through the skin into the trigger point. The contracted lump of muscle will twitch (local twitch response or LTR) slightly and then almost immediately lengthen and relax. The needle causes some very slight bleeding which initiates a healing process at the sight. The pain dissipates and the muscle begins to function normally again. A complete dry needling procedure should also include some follow-up therapy.

Movement Retraining

Once the specific needle insertion has been completed and the muscle has been restored to its proper form and function, some physical training should be performed to assist in preventing the injury from recurring. Dry needling may be used in conjunction with other therapies (for example, Functional Exercise Progression) to augment the overall efficiency of one’s physical motion.

Dry needling has been proven to be very effective for the alleviation of a variety of conditions, including:


  • Active Trigger point

Trigger points occur when the muscles contract as a result of an injury or from poor posture. When the muscle contracts, it presses on and irritates the local nerves. Trigger points can occur in any muscle band and as well in the lower spine area.

  • Chronic injuries
  • Headaches
  • Knee / Hip pain
  • Neck / Back pain
  • Post-surgical pain
  • Post-traumatic injuries
  • Work-related injuries
  • Headaches
  • Whiplash
  • Acute and chronic tendinitis
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Sciatica
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Tennis / Golfer’s Elbow
  • Myofascial pain syndrome


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