Physiotherapy acupuncture techniques are derived from traditional Chinese medicine. A physiotherapist will assess your specific musculoskeletal impairments, for example:
- Decreased range of motion
- Poor pattern of movement
- Increased tone in muscles
They will then select the appropriate points to insert the filamentous needles into. The point are based on the philosophy of Chinese medicine's meridians in the body. The needles may be left inserted in the points for a few minutes, while the patient relaxes in a comfortable position, before the needles are removed.
The purpose of traditional Chinese acupuncture is to realign the body's qi, or energy. The goal of the physiotherapist is to promote healing, decrease tension within muscles, and to gain functional movement.
Intermuscular Stimulation (IMS)
IMS uses the same types of needles as acupuncture. The physiotherapist assesses the patient for range of motion and functional movement patterns. The physiotherapist then palpates the muscles on the area of impairment to locate trigger points. Trigger points are taught bands within a muscle that cause movement dysfunction and pain. These are then treated with the insertion of a needle. The goal is to obtain an involuntary twitch from the muscle, which helps to reset the muscle and reduce the trigger points. Thus, restoring function and decreasing pain. IMS is used to treat muscles of the arms, shoulders, hips and legs as well as the spine. Treatment along the spinal muscles can help reduce nerve impingement. IMS can be used to treat different conditions such as:
- Chronic pain after a motor vehicle accident
- Sport injuries
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Musculoskeletal problems