Here at Lifetime Health and Wellness, we offer Trigger Point Dry Needle Therapy (TDN), which is also known as Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS). This treatment is a minimally invasive way of treating muscle pain and stiffness without pain medications. Here are a few of the common questions we receive from our patients.
What is Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) or dry needling?
IMS or dry needling involves inserting filiform needles into specific trigger points. Filiform needles are sterile, extremely thin, and flexible. They are used in both IMS and acupuncture, though the IMS needles may be slightly thicker than traditional acupuncture needles. In fact, IMS is similar to acupuncture, except the needles are only inserted into muscle knots and trigger points. In contrast, acupuncture involves inserting the needles along meridians.
What are the benefits of receiving IMS?
IMS helps relieve muscle and soft tissue pain. The needles can reach farther into the muscle tissue than a massage or other forms of body work, which makes it effective for releasing deep muscle fibers that have knotted or become stiff. This can help improve range of motion and function of the muscles and soft tissues.
What should I expect during my first session?
During your first session, our chiropractor will evaluate your areas of pain and determine which muscles are knotted or tight. This can be done with a two-finger test which involves pressing on the areas of pain or by gently palpitating the areas to feel for muscle tightness or knots.
Once the areas are located, our chiropractor will press the plastic tube (which covers the sterile needle) against your skin. Then, the needle will be gently tapped into your skin. This may or may not cause discomfort. Next, the needle will be pressed deeper into the muscle tissue in order to stimulate the muscle into temporarily twitching or cramping. In certain cases, this can be uncomfortable. The needle will then be used to find and loosen tight muscle fibers, which often involves moving the needle while it is inside your muscle.
Are there any side effects associated with IMS?
IMS does not interfere with any other medical treatment you may be receiving or any medication you may be taking. Individuals are usually sore and bruised for one to two days after the treatment, but they should notice a decrease in muscle pain after the initial soreness and bruising heals. Application of ice to the bruised area will help with discomfort and discoloration of the affected area. For general soreness, it is recommended to use a moist warm/hot compress.
How do I schedule an appointment for IMS?
To schedule an initial appointment or consultation with Dr. Snyder to see if IMS/TDN would help improve your muscle pain, call us at (303) 423-4610.