GUNN IMS : TARGETING THE SOURCE OF RECURRING PAIN.
Do you have pain that seems to return again and again? Do you have an injury that has never fully resolved?
Have you tried numerous treatments with only short term results?
The answer to your problem may not be in you muscles and joints, but in your nerves.
Gunn IMS may be the solution.
In order to understand how Gunn IMS can help you, you must first understand Neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain occurs when a nerve is unhealthy.
We use a 'lightbulb' analogy to explain how neuropathic pain works.
Imagine that the lightbulb in your front hallway has burned out. Logically, you would replace it. If it burned out again the next day, you may call it a faulty bulb, and replace it again. But, if it burns out a third time, you will realize that the fault is in the wiring and not the bulb. This is the same with the human body. Traditional manual therapy is like changing the light bulb. You can continue to receive treatment to your joints and muscles, but if the problem is coming from your wiring or your nervous system, the problem will continue to recur until you get your wiring right.
In the human body, our wiring is made up of nerves. Nerves are very sensitive and require adequate nutrition, which is supplied by small arteries that surround the nerves, to function properly. Any low-level nerve compression, which can occur with disc herniation, bone spurring in your spine, or even with muscle tension following an athletic injury, can compress the small arteries and reduce the blood flow to the nerve, causing the nerve to become malnourished. Within about a week of being malnourished, a nerve starts to become angry. We call angry nerves ‘neuropathic’.
When a nerve becomes angry, or neuropathic, it changes the physiology of the muscles it serves so they are unable to fully relax. This leads to a low level of muscle spasm in all the muscles supplied by that nerve 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The inability of the muscles to relax prevents full recovery from injury and ongoing stiffness causes reduced mobility. Over the long term, chronic muscle tension can lead to degenerative changes in joints, further disc injury, and overuse muscle tendinosis.
Full and permanent recovery is only possible if nerve nutrition is restored.
So, how do we repair the wiring???
Gunn IMS is a very effective type of ‘westernized’ dry needling that we use at Resolution Physiotherapy & IMS Clinic, to improve nutrition to the nerve and help resolve neuropathic dysfunction.
When a muscle is in spasm because your wiring has been impacted and your nerve is neuropathic, Gunn IMS treatment produces immediate relaxation in muscles supplied by that nerve, which reduces compression and helps restore nutritional supply to the nerve. Gunn IMS is like re-setting your fuse box because, after treatment, nerves are less compressed and can finally get the nutrition they need to function normally. This leads to restoration of normal nerve function and therefore wiring that will no longer burn out the light bulb.
How do our Physiotherapists know you have Neuropathic Pain?
IMS relies heavily on a thorough physical examination of the client by a Gunn IMS practitioner, who has been trained to recognize the physical signs of neuropathic pain. The physical examination looks for neurological, muscular, vasculature, skin, and joint changes which are specific to neuropathic pain, and will determine specifically which nerves are affected.
UBC Gunn IMS will only certify Physiotherapists or Physicians in IMS, and even then will only certify Physiotherapists who have completed significant post-graduate education. This ensures that Gunn IMS examination and treatment will be conducted safely and competently, and that the treatments will maximize recovery effects for clients.
How does IMS help resolve Neuropathic Pain?
Once your Physiotherapist determines which nerve levels are neuropathic, IMS treatment is used to normalize the function of these nerves. IMS uses acupuncture needles (approximately the size of a hair) which are placed into the muscles which have been made tight by the unhealthy/abnormally functioning nerve. The needle is both diagnostic and therapeutic, in that if a nerve and the muscles it supplies are normal, the client will feel nothing when the needle is inserted. If a nerve and the muscle it supplies are neuropathic, the tightened muscle will ‘grab’ the needle and produce a cramping sensation. This will result in 3 effects.
- First, a stretch receptor in the muscle is stimulated which results in an immediate reflex relaxation of that muscle.
- Second, the needle causes a microtrauma to the muscle which brings blood to the area and helps heal the muscle.
- Third, the treatment causes electrical current and nutritional flow that will help heal the nerve.
Overall, these 3 effects reduce the sensitivity and improve the health in the nerves and muscles, which should lead to a reduction in your muscle, skin and joint pain and increase your joint range of movement. The results are cumulative and, while improvement should occur following your first or second treatment, your symptoms should continue to improve and last longer with each appointment. Dr. Gunn's research found that an average of 8.2 Gunn IMS treatments were needed to significantly improve neuropathic pain.
If you have an injury that has lasted longer than it should, it may be time to 're-set your fuse'.
Give Resolution Physiotherapy & IMS a call today and see how effective Gunn IMS can be for you.
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