We provide functional dry needling (FDN), also referred to as intramuscular stimulation (IMS). It is a physical therapy modality used to treat myofascial and neuropathic pain. It is grounded in Western Medical Science, and relates particularly to radicular pain.

FDN/IMS involves insertion of a filament needle into an area of muscle that has become contracted and shortened (trigger points), and/or an area near the spine where the nerve root may have become irritated and supersensitive. FDN/IMS directly treats the cause of the pain by relaxing the shortened muscle and allowing it to return to its normal state.

The goal of treatment is to achieve a local twitch response in order to release muscle tension, eliminate neuromuscular dysfunction and pain, and restore functional movement. 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 resulting pain reduction and increased range of motion is achieved by:

  • Stretching the receptor in the muscle by stimulation, therefore producing a relaxation or lengthening of the muscle
  • Creating an electrical potential in the muscle to make the nerve function normally again (“reset”)
  • Drawing blood flow to the area of dysfunction, therefore initiating the body’s natural healing process

The number of treatments required depends on several factors: general health, the duration and extent of the condition, how much scar tissue there is, and how quickly one’s body can heal. The rate of healing also depends on the condition of the nerves. If the pain is of recent origin, 1-2 treatments may be all that is necessary. The average person responds very well within 4 to 6 treatments.

Practitioners that perform IMS/FDN

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Everything I could have asked for

My experience at Arbutus Physiotherapy was everything I could have asked for. The receptionists were always so kind and welcoming whenever I came through the door, and they were easy to communicate with. I was never intimidated or unsure when interacting with them. Whenever I would call the reception, I was consistently greeted with a

Riya Chitroda review
Rita Chitroda

So happy to have found this place

I am very grateful for the staff at Arbutus. I have received both IMS and physio treatments over the last few months and I am feeling wonderful. I am noticeably more flexible and no longer get aches and pains. Fawn is my regular physiotherapist (she is superb) and I have also seen Scott and Melissa

Chelsea Grace

My life has seriously been changed!

I wouldn’t be where I am today without Ashley. I was in such acute pain with sciatica all the way down to my foot. I had burning nerve pain and restricted movement for nearly a year – I couldn’t even walk my dogs for 15 minutes without limping home and needing to ice myself for

Elizabeth giles review
Elizabeth Giles