Ice House, Carleton University

Sport Medicine & Physiotherapy: 

Sport Med: (613) 520-3510

Medical Team of:

Physio Needling

 Dry needling (DN) is primarily directed at trigger points, which are identified as tender palpable points within the muscle (you can often feel the bump by touch). … IMS (intramuscular stimulation) differs from dry needling in that IMS is a system for both the diagnosis and treatment of pain of a neuropathic origin.


IMS is a system for the diagnosis and treatment of myofascial pain syndromes. IMS relies heavily on a thorough physical examination of the patient by a trained practitioner, physiotherapist trained to recognize the physical signs of neuropathic pain. The treatment, which utilizes acupuncture needles, specifically targets injured muscles that have contracted and become shortened from distress. The treatment involves dry needling of affected areas of the body without injecting any substance. The needle sites can be at the epicenter of tight, tender muscle bands, or they can be near the spine where the nerve root may have become irritated and supersensitive. Penetration of a normal muscle is painless; however, a shortened, supersensitive muscle will ‘grasp’ the needle in what can be described as a cramping sensation. Supersensitive areas can be desensitized, and the persistent pull of shortened muscles can be released.


What are the differences between IMS and acupuncture?

IMS is comparable in some ways to acupuncture; however, there are a number of important differences. IMS requires a thorough examination and diagnosis by a qualified IMS practitioner, needle insertions are indicated by physical signs and not according to predefined meridians, and subjective and objective effects are often experienced immediately.


Acupuncture (Acupuncture Canada)

Acupuncture is a stimulation, by the insertion of needles, of specific points in the body which has the ability to alter various biomechanical and physiological conditions. Acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain relieving  neurohormones. Acupuncture affects the function of hormonal systems, promotes a decrease in inflammation, increases circulation and relief from pain. Acupuncture is a safe and effective way to encourage natural healing and improve energy.