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IMS - Intramuscular Stimulation

IMS may be described as an advanced form of acupuncture, but in reality it is much more complicated. IMS involves the use of acupuncture needles to target the injured muscle which has been shortened due to stress. Th shortened muscle cause pain, not only in the affected muscle, but also in the surrounding tendons and joints due to the extra work load.

IMS treatment makes the muscle "seize" the needle. This process has a relaxing effect on the muscle, and as a result, the pain will subside.


The Effect of IMS

The effect of IMS is gradually increasing after each treatment session. The treatment gives a certain amount of healing and eventually the condition will be fully healed, and the pain disappears. The process is often complete within 21 days! Many patients receiving IMS treatment has been pain free for over 20 years.

Treatment of Neuropathic Pain
Hypersensitivity and muscle contractions can't be healed by surgery. Pain medication is only hiding the pain. The aim of the IMS treatment is to stop the muscle contractions that are pushing and irritating the nerve. The hypersensitivity will be reduced, and the constant drag on in the shortened muscle will decrease

Short Muscle Syndrom
A central factor in neuropathic pain is muscle shortenings caused by muscle cramps and contractions. Muscle shortenings causes pain due to drag and irritation in surrounding tendons and joints. This can cause wear and tear ailments in tendonitis and joint pains.




Treatment Frequency
The treatment is usually done once a week, but in some cases, the intervalls can be 14 days and more. The body needs time to heal between each treatment session, so the time between each treatment is an important factor. The number of treatment sessions depend on how long the pain symptoms have been present as well as the condition of the affected area, how much scar tissue one has (often more after clinical surgery) and how quickly your body manages to heal. Healing time also depends on the condition of the nerves. Young people heal more quickly than older people. If the pain has just arisen, one treatment session is often sufficient.

Effects on the spine
The most frequent cause of neurpathic pain is "spondylosis", a term that refers to wear and degeneration in the spine. The condition is caused by pressure on the nerve roots and leads to neuropathy and muscle shortenings.

IMS Treatment and Acupuncture Compared

Traditional Acupuncture:

  • Based on ancient Chinese Medicine and an understanding that human health depends on the free movement of Qi (The Life Energy)
  • Insertion of acupuncture needles on acupuncture-, or palpable pain points (ashi points).
  • In Norway there are currently no requirements for education or even knowledge anatomy for anyone to call themselves an acupuncturist. The Norwegian Acupuncture Association is working to set up an authorization scheme that sets high standards regarding education and skills that acupuncturists will be required to meet to qualify for membership.

IMS Treatment:

  • IMS is based on Western Medical Science. Medical examination and a diagnosis is required before treatment
  • The IMS therapist underlies strict requirements regarding acupuncture- and anatomy knowledge
  • Trigger point therapy is part of the IMS. Needle insertion palpated to physical tender points, so-called trigger points
  • Good anatomy knowledge is a prerequisite for safe practice. IMS Norge is collaborating with "Høyskolen i Kristiania" and the Norwegian acupuncture association during training and education of qualified IMS therapists
  • Rapid subjective and objective improvement is expected