Evidence Based, Result Driven

Dry Needling

Dry Needling


IMS was accidentally discovered when researchers tried to resolve trigger point muscle pain by locally injecting different pain-relieving substances. What they found was that pain improved regardless of the type of substance injected. It was then discovered that it was the insertion of the needle through the trigger point that improved pain, rather than the type of substance injected. This resulted in the discovery of IMS.

Please contact Motion Science Physiotherapy Clinic for further details.

What is it?

Intramuscular stimulation (IMS) is a dry needling technique that uses thin filiform needles to release tight and painful muscles. Hyper-irritable spots (trigger points) are needled using a threading technique to elicit a local twitch response. This results in decreased pain and improved function after just one session! THIS IS NOT ACUPUNCTURE. Get treated with intramuscular stimulation to relieve your pains today at our clinic in Silver Heights, Winnipeg.

Is Dry Needling for me?

If you have muscle pain that is failing to improve after conventional methods such as stretching and massage then IMS may be for you. A thorough assessment by your physiotherapist will help determine if you will benefit from IMS (dry needling).

Some common causes of muscle pain:
  • Posture
  • High muscle tone seen in some neurological conditions but can also be caused by genetics, environmental factors, and age.
  • Repetitive use and sustained contractions
  • high load commonly seen in sports and in the workplace.
  • Over-stretched muscles


Hyper-irritable spots (trigger points) within a muscle are needled directly using a technique called threading. The Muscle will twitch as its being released (involuntary contraction). The benefits are immediate and relief is felt right away although some insertional soreness may mask these effects for a few days.

In addition, your physiotherapist will give you corrective exercises following the procedure to prevent the problem from reoccurring.

You may need more than one session depending on the number of irritable spots. Typically patients with a chronic history of muscle pain (>3 months) will require more than one visit.

Is it Safe?

A trained physiotherapist will take a thorough history and do a physical assessment to see if you will benefit from IMS. There are minimal side effects for this procedure. Your physiotherapist will go over these during your visit.

Physiology of Dry Needling?

Muscles in your body are made up of small strands of fibers called muscle cells. A bundle of approximately 100,000 muscle cells are supplied by a single nerve branch and are collectively referred to as a motor unit. Muscles in your body are made up of many of these motor units.

Motor units can become dysfunctional and remain in a constant state of activation. This leads to pain, decreased strength, and loss of muscle function.

IMS (dry needling) involves needling these hyperirritable spots to elicit a local twitch response which ultimately decreases irritability.

The physiological effects of IMS treatment are:

  • Increased blood flow
  • Decreased banding
  • The decrease in spontaneous electrical activity (SEA)
  • Biochemical changes
  • Central nervous system changes

What is the Evidence Behind This?

By taking blood samples at painful trigger points, scientists were able to determine what chemicals were involved. Results were a lower pH along with a significantly higher concentration of the following biochemicals: protons, bradykinin, calcitonin gene-related peptide, substance P, tumor necrosis factor, interleukin-1, serotonin, and norepinephrine.

The continued presence of these chemicals at trigger points has shown to be a necessary condition for persistent pain.

IMS (dry needling) application is able to elicit a local twitch response that helps to normalize this. Within minutes after this response, a tracked change can be seen where the above biochemical concentrations are decreased and pH is increased.

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Cancellation Policy

Your appointment time is reserved just for you. A late cancellation or missed visit leaves a hole in the therapists’ day that could have been filled by another patient. As such, we require 24 hours notice for any cancellations or changes to your appointment. Patients who provide less than 24 hours notice, or miss their appointment, will be charged a cancellation fee.

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Monday 8:00 am to 8:30 pm

Tuesday 8:00 am to 8:30 pm

Wednesday 8:00 am to 8:30 pm

Thursday 8:00 am to 8:30 pm

Friday 8:00 am to 8:30 pm

Saturday 8:00 am to 3:00 pm

Sunday closed

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Address & Contact Information

Unit B101 – 2080 Ness Avenue
Winnipeg, MB. R3J 0Z3
P. 204-414-4494 F. 1-877-725-6075
Email reception@motionsciencephysio.com




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