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Understanding IMS Treatment



IMS or Intramuscular Stimulation is a technique used by physiotherapists to treat acute or chronic pain. IMS involves inserting fine acupuncture type needles into the body where muscles have either shortened or contracted.

It can be used to treat soft tissue pain and many forms of back, shoulder or neck pain. IMS can also be used to treat sport related injuries, headaches, low back pain, neck pain, sciatica, shoulder injuries, whiplash and repetitive strain injuries amongst others.

The technique of inserting needles into areas of the body where muscles have become tight or tender, allows these muscles to release, thereby reducing the pain and provides a therapeutic effect on the body. The needle also causes a minor therapeutic injury to the affected area, this stimulates the body to increase circulation and activates healing. It is beneficial for deep muscle treatment where other forms of therapy is ineffective such as massage therapy.

During each needling session, muscles are stimulated and pain dissipates over time, allowing the muscle to loosen and causes the area to heal. Continuous sessions may be able to combat chronic pain and allow the body to fully recover.

Speak to your physiotherapist about IMS treatment and how it can help you relieve pain you experiencing.

Got Sore Neck?

Did you wake up this morning with a sore neck? Does it feel stiff and tight? Is it painful to look to your left and to your right?

Whether or not you’ve bene sleeping in an awkward position or may have done something strenuous last night, stiff necks are always an inconvenience.

Here are three tips to help you soothe the pain!

1) Massage and Stretch your neck:

You want to find the sore spot(s) and try your best to massage and relieve the muscle. IF you have a tennis ball laying around, you can push yourself up agains the wall with the ball and massage the sore muscle.

You can stretch your neck by bringing your ear to your shoulder or looking up at the ceiling. It is important to stop any of these stretches or massages if you begin to feel more pain or feel dizzy.

2) Utilize heat and cold:

You want to relieve the muscles by applying some heat in the forms of a hotpack or cold through ice/icepacks. The cold will help numb the pain and relieve any tension. The heat will help with promoting further blood circulation to the muscle.

3) Take medication:

IF the pain is unbearable and if it persists, it is recommended that you take some over the counter medicines to help relax and relieve the sore and tight muscles. This should be a last resort after you have tried the top two tips!

If the pain grows unusual and these three tips do not help, it is always good to consider seeing your family doctor in case there are any other complications.

Stay Safe!

Unfortunately, many falls and injuries occur in the comfort one’s own home. More often than not, your home may require you to go up and down a few steps in order to get around. This is a task that many individuals find difficult and have anxiety doing so. In addition, stairs become more difficult when you are recovery from an injury or illness. Here are a few tips to help you be more confident and safe when navigating through stairs in your home or outside in your community.


If your set of stairs has handrails we advise you to use them! There is an important adage that is used when going up the stairs. Remember the phrase “UP WITH THE GOOD” when going up stairs. You want to lead up with your stronger leg and carry your other leg as you go up. This ensure that your strong leg takes all the weight and keeps you safe as you ascend.

You want to make sure that you stay upright, engage your core muscles and activate the glute to help bring your strong leg up.


Once again if there are handrails, please use them as they will provide solid support. Building off the adage we mentioned earlier, when going down you want to remember the phrase “DOWN WITH THE BAD”. When you go down with the bad, it prevents you from putting all the weight on that weaker leg and use your stronger one for support. Once again, ensure that your core is engaged and that you stay upright.

Remember this is a simple rule that can help you out when going up down stairs within your home or in your community. However, there may be other factors involved such as gait aids or different styles of stairs/handrails. Also, if you need support to go up and down stairs, do not hesitate to ask a friend or family member! It is important that you always consult with your physiotherapist or occupational therapist in order to stay safe.

Do You Use a Walker?

Depending on your current condition, you may find yourself using need to use a walker to help you stay steady and balanced! Walkers are a great tool to help promote stabilization and safe walking.

Unfortunately, walkers can become a hindrance when used incorrectly. Here is are some tips to make sure that you are using your walker safely and correctly!

1) Make sure it is the right height!

Whether you have 4 wheeled walker or a 2 wheeled walker you want to make sure that the walker is not too high nor too low. A high walker can cause balance problems as you body may tilt back due to the extra height. A lower walker will have you slouch and will cause pain in your back and tension around your neck when you are walker.

If there is a physiotherapist or an occupational therapist around, they should be your first option in adjusting your walker as they know what will be correct for you.

However, if you need to figure it out on your own this is what you do:

Relax shoulders and have arm dangle down comfortably. The top of the walker should be the same height as the crease in your wrist.

2) Do not pull on your walker!

When you are standing up from a chair or from your bed, refrain from pulling up on the walker. The walker is not stable enough on the ground and when you pull on the walker, there is a risk of you losing your balance as you fall backwards. Instead, push up form the handles or from the bed when standing up.

Moreover, when sitting down, you want to back up into the chair or bed and make sure the back of your knees touch the surface. Once it is safe, reach back for the chair or bed to sit.

3) Do not pick up your walker!

Many times, people will pick up the walker as they walk forward. This removes the walker from the picture for a moment and increases the risk of you losing your balance. Keep the walker on the floor as you push it around.

These are a few tips to keep you safe with your walker! Remember that practice makes perfect and if you have any questions, it is best to ask your therapist.

What is posture?

Posture is a term coined to describe the way you sit or stand. Throughout the day, we are continually going from sitting to standing and at the end of the day we may find that our bodies ache and are in pain. Our posture, the way we stand and sit throughout the day can contribute to our discomfort.

Having poor posture can contribute to many things:

– Back and neck pain
– Poor balance
– Difficulty breathing

Poor posture comes from the weakness in your core and in the spine. There are muscles that help you stay upright throughout the day. When these muscles are weak, they lose the ability to hold you up and therefore you may slouch. These muscled become weak when one lives sedentary lifestyles and neglect exercising these muscles.

What to do?

– BE AWARE! IT is important to check your posture throughout the day and re-adjust if needed. Stand up and stretch after sitting after a long period of time. The more mindful you are of your posture, the more you can correct it.

– EXERCISE! The core muscles need to be strengthened in order to keep you upright. Find time to go to the gym or work with a physiotherapist to help you target the muscles that need to be strengthened.

– Evaluate your work area. Our posture can tend to go bad when we are at our work stations. Jobs that require you to be sitting for an extended period of time can be a risk to your posture. Check your area and find ways in which you can change it to better facilitate good posture.

For example, a standing desk or a higher chair can help you with your workspace.

It is important that we are mindful of our bodies throughout the day. A poor posture can be the reason behind the discomfort you may be feeling. The more aware we are about our posture, the more we are capable of fixing it when needed!

When should you use the RICE method?

When should you use the RICE method?

If you have had an injury such as a sprain or a strain you may be familiar with the RICE method. Swelling and pain are the most common symptoms that come with injuries like ankle or knee sprains.

The RICE method stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

Rest – Take time to rest and protect the area that is injured. Do not take part in any activity that could further damage the area.

Ice – Ice is used to reduce any swelling that has occurred. An ice or cold pack should suffice. It is recommended to apply the ice pack 3 or 4 times a day for 10 to 20 minute intervals.

Compression – Wrapping the affected area with a bandage can also assist with the swelling. Be cautious not to wrap it too tight or it could cause more swelling in the affected area.

Elevation – It is recommended to elevate the injured area on pillows or a bolster to help relieve swelling. It will also be helpful to use ice as you elevate the injured area.

Use these tips next time you injure yourself! This will help wit the swelling and make recovery faster!

What to do before surgery?

Are you or someone you love about to have knee replacement surgery? It can be a scary thought about replacing your knee but proper education and preparation can help you or a love one recover in less time and with less pain.

What to do before surgery?

Exercising before your surgery is recommended. Exercising helps with keeping your muscles strong, controlling your pain, reduce your body weight and helps build your knowledge of how to exercise after your surgery.

What to do expect after your surgery?

Recovery can take up to 12 weeks. We will highlight some exercises and things you can do within these 12 weeks to help your recovery go smoothly.


In these first weeks, it is important that you keep your knee pain and swelling under control. Use a combination of ice and heat to help with the swelling and pain.

Some goals that you may have within these first week are being able to bend your knee at least 90 degrees and being able to straighten your knee.

Exercises that can be done:

– Seated kneed bends (this can be done with assistance, using your good leg)
– Seated knee straightening


After 3 weeks, your knee should feel better and you may be able to adjust your exercise goals and make your exercises harder. You might be given new routines and workouts from your physiotherapist to improve knee strength and balance.

Some goals:

– Fully straighten your knee
– Walk up and go down stairs normally
– Be able to ride stationary bike

Exercises that can be done:

– Standing knee bend
– Calf stretches
– Mini knee bends on kitchen sink (mini squats)
– Heel toe ups

These are just basic guidelines and some education on what to do before and after your knee replacement. It is important as the recovery process can go smoother if you are well educated about what to do! As you recover, continue to exercise and maintain a good level of activity to increase the life of your joint replacement.

You may notice that your muscles may be stiff and require stretching! Once again, ask your physiotherapist if there are any stretches that can be done to help relieve this stiffness and regain your flexibility.

Everyone is different! Always double check with your physiotherapist regarding what exercises you can or cannot do. Safety is the number one rule when recovering! Happy recovery!

What to do after your hip replacement?

What to do after your hip replacement?

Now that you have had your hip replacement what are some of the things you can do to ease your rehabilitation process? In order to stay safe and avoid any further injuries or setbacks, education on how to live post surgery is key. Here are a few tips on what to do after having a hip replacement.

1) Be aware of hip precautions! It is important to be aware of the movements that are restricted to ensure proper rehabilitation and recovery of your new hip. These movements include, bending past 90 degrees, twisting at your waist, and crossing your legs. These precautions can last up to 6-8 weeks so it is important to practice doing activities of daily living such as dressing while keeping these precautions.

2) Exercises! Despite having hip precautions, you can still do exercises! There are many exercises on the bed that you can do to help promote blood circulation and prevent clots!

-Calf squeezes
-Ankle Pumps
-Glute Squeezes

3) It is important to have the right equipment to help facilitate your recovery! It will be helpful to own long handed reachers, sock aids, a cane or a walker to help you with your daily movements. It is important to consult with your physiotherapist and/or your occupational therapist to get these equipments and be taught how to use them correctly.

Moreover, ensure that your living space at home is set up to help aid you in your recovery. High chairs to help you keep your precautions, bed rails and shower rails to help promote safety. It is important that your living space becomes a safe area that will not put you in risk of getting injured or having a fall during your recovery period.

Getting a hip replacement may sound like a dawning task. However, proper education on precautions, exercises and equipment will help you go through this period after your surgery.

Tips to reduce joint pain when living with Arthritis

Tips to reduce joint pain when living with Arthritis:

Arthritis has the potential to negatively affect one’s quality of life. The pain and discomfort in one’s joints can make simple and every day tasks difficult. For example, putting on a shirt or cooking a meal can take twice as long and can be very painful. Here are 5 tis on how to reduce joint and muscle pain when living with Arthritis.

1) Monitor Energy Levels

Your energy levels will be affected when living with Arthritis. It is important to plan out your day and prioritize the activities that need to be done. For example, complete all the strenuous and difficult tasks during the beginning of the day when you have the most energy and do simple tasks as the day ends. It is important to monitor your energy to reduce risks of injury or fatigue to your joints and muscles.

2) Utilize Hot & Cold therapy   

Joint pain can be relieved with hot and cold therapy. Taking a long warm bath can help soothe any stiffness in your joints. Cold therapy (ice packs, cold gels) can help with swelling and inflammation. It is important to be aware of these treatments to help tackle and pain you may encounter.

3) Use large joints/Body mechanics

It is important to take stress off the smaller joints by using your larger joints and utilizing proper body mechanics. Keep large items close to your body and use your legs to lift items. Slide heavy items along counters if possible to make it easier on your joints.

4) Use adaptive equipment

Equipment with large handles that limit the use of the finer joints will help. Tubing that can be installed to handles will also have a benefit when doing work in the kitchen. If a physiotherapist or occupational therapist recommends any special equipment, continue to use it safely.

5) Get help!

There will be situations where you may be fatigued, in pain, or just unable to complete a task. It is not advised to do a difficult task on your own when you start feeling these symptoms. The risk of injury increases. If possible, get a friend or a family member to help you out and assist with some of the larger tasks!