About Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS)

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IMS is a technique that is used to release trigger points in a muscle that is in a shortened state. The shortened muscle may be contributing to muscle imbalances, compression of the joint, joint mobility restriction, or altered joint positioning.


The technique involves an acupuncture needle which is inserted into the shortened muscle (feels like a knot), causing an affected muscle to jump or react. The muscle then typically relaxes. 

Indications for IMS include:

  • Whiplash injuries
  • Acute or chronic muscle strains
  • Sciatica symptoms
  • Shoulder impingements
  • Hip impingements
  • Runner's knee or Ilitiotibial Band Syndromes
  • Achilles Tendon or Plantar Fascia pain
  • Chronic knee pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Tennis Elbow

Following treatment

The area released may be sore for 24-48 hours. It is recommended that you avoid aggravating activities during this time period. Heat may help settle the post-treatment discomfort.


IMS cannot be performed on clients who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, or have had a recent joint replacement. If you are on blood thinners please consult your doctor first.


For additional information on this treatment technique visit istop.org/ims.html