dry needling / ims

dry needling IMS

Dry Needling is Rapidly Becoming a Popular Therapeutic Treatment Offered by Physiotherapists to Alleviate Symptoms of Pain

What is Dry Needling?

Trigger point dry needling, also known as intramuscular stimulation (IMS), is a therapeutic treatment that uses filament needles (similar to acupuncture needles) that are placed into tight muscles and trigger points. 

Injuries and overuse of muscles can cause tight muscle fibers to form in sensitive areas. These hypersensitive areas are called trigger points and are painful on compression, stretch, overload, or contraction of the muscle. When this pain persists and worsens, it is called myofascial pain syndrome. If the trigger point creates sufficient pain for long enough, the nervous system can become hyperaware of the dysfunction, which then leads to even more increased pain.

Dry needling uses sterile, one-time disposable needles that are dry or without medication. The dry needle gets inserted one or multiple times into the skin and muscle area where the myofascial trigger point knot is located. This will stimulate a twitch response in the muscle fibers. This is an involuntary spinal cord reflex in which the muscle fibers in the taut band of the muscle contract. The dry needle will release the trigger point, spasm, or tightness that is causing the pain.

Need help recovering from your injury?


Nova Physiotherapy Port Coquitalm
dry needling IMS

What can it help with?

The goal of dry needling is to achieve relief from muscle pain, joint pain, and other types of body pain by releasing myofascial trigger points. In addition to the pain management, dry needling also helps with the following:

Reduces central sensitization, reduces local and referred pain, increases range of motion, improves muscle activation patterns, alters the chemical environment around trigger points, and increases blood flow.

Dry Needling Helps Relieve

Getting started

Is pain holding you back from doing the things in life that you want to? Dry needling can offer you effective relief from pain.

Dry needling is almost always used as a part of an overall plan that will likely include some type of exercise, manual therapy, heat therapy, and education.

Talk to your physiotherapist at your next appointment to find out if dry needling is right for you.



Shockwave Therapy Port Coquitlam

Need help recovering from your injury?


Nova Physiotherapy Port Coquitalm

Frequently Asked Questions

Our rehab professionals are physiotherapists and kinesiologists. They are dedicated to providing you the best care and experience throughout your rehabilitation.

What are the benefits of dry needling?

The benefits of IMS / Dry Needling are mainly pain relief, better range of motion, and improved motor control/muscle activation. The aim is to reset your pain, tension, mobility, strength, or control of the targeted muscle.

What are the advantages of dry needling?

  1. Dry needling can access deeper layers of muscle that our hands and fingers cannot reach, and it works faster than massage.
  2. There is no use of drugs with dry needling.
  3. Dry needling can offer pain relief, increase your range of motion and reduce muscle tension.

Is dry needling painful?

The needle used for dry needling is thin and most patients don’t even feel it penetrate the skin. You may experience varying degrees of discomfort from mild ache to a muscle cramp sensation from the twitch lasting less than a second.

Are the needles sterile?

Yes, we only use sterile, one-use disposable needles.

Is dry needling and acupuncture the same?

No. Dry needling is focused on using stimulation to the muscles to get them to release. Acupuncture, on the other hand, does not use stimulation and it is based on channel theory and using points to heal the body naturally.

Will my insurance cover dry needling?

Yes. Dry needling is included as part of your physiotherapy session.

Are there any side effects?

You may experience some post-treatment soreness lasting for a few hours to a few days. There may be occasional bruising. We recommend applying heat or ice over the affected area. Directly after treatment, patients may feel fatigued, energized, or emotional.

Physiotherapy & Kinesiology

Call For Your Free Consultation

Have you been injured and need physiotherapy or kinesiology? Call us today to get your 15-minute fee phone consultation.