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Intramuscular Stimulation – A Neuropathic Model

March 27, 2019



What is neuropathy?  


Neuropathy refers to dysfunction within a nerve or group of nerves. Prolonged dysfunction can cause nerves to become hyper-sensitized, ultimately intensifying our experience of pain. When it comes to mechanical sources of neuropathy, the most common cause is spondylosis.  


Spondylosis refers to degenerative change in the spine, resulting in a narrowing of the space between the vertebrae. Spinal nerve roots may then become compressed. The muscles innervated or supplied by these nerves can develop tight bands within them or trigger points. Furthermore, the tightening/shortening of these muscles impact other structures. For example, tendinopathy can develop due to strain on tendons, or joint pain can occur from stress across a joint. 



How exactly does intramuscular stimulation (IMS) alleviate pain and dysfunction? 


IMS can be an effective tool in decreasing neuropathic pain. Two ways in which it can be used to treat pain and dysfunction include: 


  1. Contract-relax reflex response – stimulation by the needle triggers a reflex contraction in the muscle, after which it relaxes, and its length is restored.  

  2. Micro-trauma – the needle inflicts a micro-trauma to the tissue which creates an inflammatory response in the muscle (i.e. stimulates protein synthesis), ultimately facilitating healing.

Whether you have dysfunction within a nerve, or group of nerves, in most cases IMS can help alleviate the pain associated with neuropathy. Contact us today and find out if IMS is right for you.



Riley Bay began her undergraduate studies in Victoria and graduated with a degree in psychology. She then completed her Masters of Physical Therapy at the University of British Columbia. Riley has gained further training in manual therapy techniques including Mulligan's Mobilization with Movement and The McKenzie Method. Through a combination of individualized therapeutic exercise, hands on manual therapy, and education, Riley is passionate about working together with her patients to help facilitate their return to the sports and activities that are important to them. Book with Riley today.

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