Functional Dry Needling/GUNN IMS

Functional dry needling (FDN)/GUNN IMS is a therapeutic treatment procedure that utilizes thin, solid filament needles to deactivate and desensitize trigger points in muscles. Myofascial trigger points are knots in muscles that can contribute to pain, decreased flexibility and decreased muscle function. There is no  solution injected and the needle used is very thin.


What to expect with a typical FDN/IMS treatment?

image.jpgMost patients will not even feel the needle penetrate the skin, but once it advances into the muscle the discomfort can vary from patient to patient.

Usually a healthy muscle feels very little discomfort upon insertion of the needle; however if the muscle is sensitive and shortened or contains active trigger points, the subject may feel a sensation much like a muscle cramp, often referred to as a twitch response. FDN/IMS may reproduce symptoms directly in the muscle being treated or may refer to other areas of the body. This is a form of referred pain, which is one of the hallmarks of trigger points. Elicitation of a local twitch response and recognizable referred pain is a good and desirable reaction because it confirms a possible source of dysfunction.


How will I feel after FDN/IMS?

You will know positive change has occurred right after the session, because you will be sore in the way that you would feel after too much activity. You may feel fatigued and the soreness can last a few hours to 1-2 days but should not interfere with your everyday activities. After a day or so you’ll experience a new feeling of less pain and tightness.


How does FDN/IMS work?

FDN/IMS is a treatment for muscular tightness and spasms, which commonly follows injuries and often accompanies degenerative  processes or a chronically painful condition. Muscular tightness and spasms cause compression and irritation of the nerves exiting the spine. When the nerves are irritated, they cause a protective spasm of all the muscles to which they are connected. This may cause peripheral diagnoses such as carpal tunnel, tendinitis,osteoarthritis, decreased mobility and chronic pain. Small, fine needles are inserted in the muscles at the trigger points causing the pain referral. The muscles then reflexively contract and then release , improving the flexibility of the muscle and decreasing symptoms. Functional dry needling treats these trigger points to release them and allow the muscle to heal. 


Is FDN/IMS similar to Acupuncture?

The only similarity to acupuncture is the use of an acupuncture needle. Traditional acupuncture aims to promote health and restore energy balance by stimulating acupuncture points found along certain meridians of the body. FDN/IMS is based on anatomy and neurophysiology and its aim is to needle myofascial trigger points.


Conditions treated with FDN/IMS:

  • Back pain and sciatica
  • Neck pain
  • Tennis elbow
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Shoulder or rotator cuff tendinitis
  • Whiplash
  • Headaches
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Groin or hip pain
  • Myofascial pain syndromes
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Chronic pain

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