Tuesday, July 6, 2010


This post was a bit delayed, I became busy watching Funny People. I've won a few free months of Zip.ca membership, so I have been renting movies. It's so easy, select online, they mail to the house, watch them, put them in the return paid envelope and then the next movie comes! No I am not trying to sell zip.ca; however, it's free so I am taking advantage of it!

Anyway, after nearly 7 months of nagging aches and pains from my lower abdominal and hip flexors, I tried a new form of treatment today. I have tried ART through Abe, which has keep things at bay and always received temporary relief. So today I saw a local physio named Mike, who did his assessment. He stated that I didn't have any deficiencies in strength, such as a weak side or muscle that was causing the issues. He figures it is related to tight/shortened muscles on my right side. All the tightness has likely resulted in pulling at my abdominal causing the pain.

In saying that, we opted to do some IMS treatment. If you haven't heard of IMS, it is Intramuscular Stimulation. According to this website:

The treatment involves dry needling of affected areas of the body without injecting any substance. The needle sites can be at the epicenter of taut, tender muscle bands, or they can be near the spine where the nerve root may have become irritated and supersensitive. Penetration of a normal muscle is painless; however, a shortened, supersensitive muscle will ‘grasp’ the needle in what can be described as a cramping sensation. The result is threefold. One, a stretch receptor in the muscle is stimulated, producing a reflex relaxation (lengthening). Two, the needle also causes a small injury that draws blood to the area, initiating the natural healing process. Three, the treatment creates an electrical potential in the muscle to make the nerve function normally again. The needle used in IMS, by stimulating muscle spindles, essentially becomes a specific and unique tool for the diagnosis of Neuropathic Muscle Pain.

The goal of treatment is to release muscle shortening, which presses on and irritates the nerve. Supersensitive areas can be desensitized, and the persistent pull of shortened muscles can be released. IMS is very effective for releasing shortened muscles under contracture, thereby causing mechanical pain from muscle pull. IMS, in effect, treats the underlying neuropathic condition that causes the pain. When competently performed, IMS has a remarkable success rate, as proven by the amelioration of symptoms and signs, even for chronic back pain with root signs.

It was an interesting process. I had been warned that it hurts, so I went in there a tad nervous about it; however, it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. Mike inserted a needle into healthy muscle at first to show what it should feel like, which barely hurt. Then he went to town on my lower to mid back. I have no idea how many times I got poked, but I'll tell you that some hurt and some didn't hurt too bad. Nothing was unbearable though. After my back he went onto my right side, then one in the piriformis before doing the last one in the abductor of the inner thigh. I think the one that hurt the most was the ones in my side. One in my mid back was pretty bad too.

After that he stated we were done for the day and that we would do another session next week. He only wanted to do so much so that I wouldn't take too long to recover. On the drive home I definitely felt my back and side, but after a few hours the aching went away. So far it feels good, we'll see how it is in the morning.

Have any of you had IMS? I have a workout tomorrow so I hope I feel okay for that. I think I should be, if anything my lower back might bug me but he really didn't pick on my legs.

I really have more to say, but seen as how it is 12:37am and Funny People is almost over (I'm multitasking), I should sign off for now!

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