- Have you tried medication, injections, or acupuncture – yet still seek relief?
- Do you have a new source of pain but don’t know what to do about it?
We are pleased to be among the first physical therapists in Wisconsin to provide Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) — also known as trigger point Dry Needling Technique (DNT.) All of our licensed physical therapists are trained in dry needling through Myopain Seminars. IMS/DNT has been used successfully for decades in other countries and has recently become available in the US. If you’re in pain, consider this proven treatment option.
What is IMS/DNT?
The basic premise is that IMS/DNT minimizes the influence of contractures (trigger points) within taut bands of muscle tissue that can spontaneously trigger local pain or refer pain to more distant locations.
Solid filament needles of small diameter are inserted into muscle directly at a myofacial trigger point. Myofacial trigger points (sometimes considered as “knots”) are related to the production and maintenance of the pain cycle. Introducing “dry” needles into the area can reduce pain by softening the trigger point, creating a chemical analgesic effect, and/or causing a reflexive neurological response to relax the tight muscle.
- Unlike treatments that inject steroids or other liquids via needles, IMS/DNT is a “dry” technique.
- Both acupuncture and IMS/DNT use needles to address pain but their rationale and use in treatment are quite different.
- Most professionals who treat pain can be trained in IMS/DNT. Today it is a growing area of expertise among physical therapists (PTs) in the United States. To practice IMS/DNT, physical therapists must receive post-graduate training.
- As experts in musculoskeletal systems and disorders, PTs rely on extensive knowledge of muscle anatomy and skills in palpation (the use of the hands to find and treat taut bands within muscle fibers; i.e.; trigger points). PTs who study dry needling learn how to optimally place needles into trigger points to reduce and manage pain.
- Dry needling often extends (or augments) what the physical therapist is already doing to manipulate and fix specific problem areas (such as trigger points, tender muscles, scar tissue, localized muscle spasm.)
- After the Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association recognized dry needling as a physical therapy practice in 2009, a group of Southeastern Wisconsin private practice PTs hosted a 100-hour continuing education seminar series by Jan Dommerrholt. Spinal Dynamics staff members were pleased to learn from this renowned instructor.
- Most insurance plans allow physical therapists to bill for IMS/DNT under routine therapy billing.
We encourage you to learn more by reading our in-depth IMS/DNT FAQ. If you’d like to discuss IMS/DNT with one of our therapists, please call us at (414)302-0770.