Dry Needling (IMS)

Physiotherapists can utilize the insertion of thin acupuncture needles into tight bands within muscle to release the tension that may be causing pain and loss of movement. This technique goes by a few different names depending on the training program that the physiotherapist has taken. The most common terms are Dry Needling, Trigger Point Dry Needling, Functional Dry Needling, Intramuscular Stimulation, IMS and Gokavi Transverse Technique Dry Needling (GTT). In general all these techniques are very similar. Check out the qualifications of the physiotherapist on our Team page to see who can offer you this technique. At Kamloops Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Centre we use dry needling to relieve pain and to allow you to use your muscles effectively. We can help you learn new movement strategies so your muscles don’t continue to develop excessive tension and pain.

The insertion of a thin acupuncture needle into a tight band or “trigger point” in a muscle causes the band to momentarily tighten further. The muscle fiber contracts around the needle and often twitches and then relaxes fully. This muscle response releases tension, pain and compression and allows a window of opportunity for retraining proper movement patterns. The results of dry needling are often cumulative, with longer lasting results after several treatments. After 2-3 treatments we can usually tell if it will be an effective tool for pain relief for your problem.

When the muscle contracts around the needle it is often felt like a pressure, a grab, a pinch or a cramp. It can be uncomfortable and sometime painful but it is very fast. The needle is removed within a few seconds. This is one way how it differs from acupuncture. In acupuncture multiple needles are left in for 15 or more minutes. The needles used are the same with dry needling and acupuncture but the technique and response is different.

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