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IMS treatment for neuropathic pain
4 Replies
Noca - April 8

quoted from "intramuscularstimulation dot com"

"What is intramuscular stimulation (IMS)?
Intramuscular stimulation (IMS) is an effective treatment for chronic pain of neuropathic origin (see below). IMS was developed by Dr.Chan Gunn while he was a clinic physician at the Workers' Compensation Board of British Columbia. Dr.. Gunn, is currently a clinical professor and teaches IMS at the University of Washington's Multidisciplinary Pain Centre in Seattle and the University of British Columbia's Medical School. IMS is also taught and utilised at many centres around the world.

IMS is effective and has few side-effects; the technique is also unequalled for finding and diagnosing muscle shortening in deep muscles.

Although IMS uses implements adapted from traditional acupuncture, it is based on scientific, neurophysiological principles. The acupuncture needle used is very thin (much thinner than the hollow needle used to inject medicine or take blood samples). You may not even feel it penetrating the skin, and if your muscle is normal, the needle is painless.

However if your muscle is supersensitive and shortened, you'll feel a peculiar sensation - like a muscle cramp. This is a distinctive type of discomfort caused by the muscle grasping the needle. Patients soon learn to recognise and welcome this sensation. They call it a "good" or positive pain because it soon disappears and is followed by a wonderful feeling of relief and relaxation. The needle may still be in you, but because the muscle is no longer tight, you no longer feel it. What has happened is that the needling has caused your abnormal muscle shortening to intensify and then release. It is important that you experience this sensation in order to gain lasting relief.

Neuropathy - what happens when nerves start to go wrong...
Doctors usually have no difficulty in treating pain caused by injury (a fracture, for example) or inflammation (such as rheumatoid arthritis). They are perplexed however by pain that shows no sign of tissue damage or inflammation.

This type of pain, known as neuropathic pain, typically occurs when nerves malfunction following minor irritation. Nerves and nerve endings become extremely sensitive and cause innocent, harmless signals to be exaggerated and misinterpreted as painful ones.This characteristic is known medically as supersensitivity). The result is pain, even when extensive medical tests show there is "nothing wrong". Until recently, supersensitivity has received little attention in medical circles.

The effects of IMS
The effects of IMS are cumulative- needling stimulates a certain amount of healing, until eventually, the condition is healed and the pain disappears. Some patients treated with IMS have remained pain-free for over 20 years."

Just wondering what you think of this type of treatment and if you would consider trying it or not? I think certain chiropractors do this treatment.


ptalana - April 9

Thanks for the info, sounds very interesting. I personally have never heard of IMS before, I would be willing to try just about anything in hopes of some relief!!!!
I think I'll discuss this with my rheumy next week, see what his take is. In the meantime I think I'll look into this myself, very intrigued.
Thanks again Noca.


Duo - April 9

Very interesting - I looked this up and found it combines acupuncture techniques with conventional knowledge know only to a few osteopaths and anaesthetists in the U.K. sadly, however, apparently much more widely used in Canada the U.S. and Sweeden. If anyone has any positive feedback I'd be interested as there is an osteopath in the U.K. who does this but it would involve about a 300mile journey - worth it if it works! Thanks


Chronic Chili - April 11

IMS has been incredibly helpful for me. It can stop a full blown flare right in its tracks and have me running up and down stairs the next day. My physiotherapist does a ton of needles all down my spine, across my shoulders, and across my lower back. Hurts like heck at the time and for a few hours but the relief later is unimaginable.

The thing to keep in mind is that it doesn't last for too terribly long. I could probably use weekly treatments if I had the time and money, but as it is I'm going every four to six weeks when the pain is so bad it's tough to get out of bed in the morning.


LouBe - May 16

IMS has had amazing results for me and I am recovering from a multitude of problems, I was in a very bad way, constant burning pain as well (on pregabalin 250mg). I have been looking into who practices this for chronic pain in the UK, there quite a few so when I am well enough (!) I can start to spread the word. If you tell me where you are I will send you info on the people nearest you I have found. I am not ready to do too much yet but already almost off medication. I would urge anyone to give it a try to see if it can give them relief from chronic pain. A few people mention that they treat fibromyalgia on their websites too.



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