IMS treatment being conducted at Vancity Physio, a physiotherapy and sports medicine clinic located in Vancouver, British Columbia.

IMS: Intramuscular Stimulation

Clinical Physiotherapy - In Person Sessions


IMS is an effective treatment for acute and chronic pain of neuropathic origin. It is based on scientific neurophysiological principles. IMS involves the insertion of fine acupuncture type needles into the body where muscles have shortened or contracted.

Intramuscular stimulation (IMS) is used to treat acute and chronic pain in neuropathic or musculoskeletal systems. IMS involves the insertion of very fine needles into the affected muscle. This process stimulates healing and is often referred to as “dry needling”.


IMS helps to relax and release muscles, as well as improve circulation to the area. IMS is best suited for patients experiencing chronic musculoskeletal pain such as lower back pain, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel, chronic whiplash, sciatica, fibromyalgia, and more. This is not an exhaustive list and the benefits of IMS can be used to treat a wide array of issues. IMS is not advised for patients suffering pain as a result of cancer, arthritis, diabetes, or Parkinson’s disease. Pregnant women and people who are recovering from surgery or infection are not advised to use IMS. Talk to your physiotherapist to see if this treatment is right for you.

Vancouver Physiotherapy Clinic IMS Therapy Dry Needling


IMS treatment uses acupuncture needles inserted into tight muscle bands, or close to the spine, to target compressed nerve roots. Each needle causes a small, therapeutic injury which causes the muscle to cramp onto the needle. This process stimulates spinal cord reactions which relaxes the muscle and returns nerves to regular function. Improved circulation to the area also encourages the healing process.


Once the needle is inserted into the affected muscle, you can expect to feel a twitch or deep ache from the muscle. While this sensation is not painful, it will feel mildly uncomfortable. The achy feeling may last for 24-46 hours. Patients usually see benefits from IMS within 6-10 treatments. Your physiotherapist will determine the appropriate length and timeline of treatment based on your condition.


Prior to any recommended treatments your physiotherapist will screen you to ensure you are a safe candidate for dry needling. Before your IMS session you should have a light snack, refrain from any caffeine, alcohol, or nicotine for at least 2 hours, and dress in treatment-appropriate clothing (tank top, shorts, etc.)


IMS sessions are cumulative, meaning the more you do it, the better off you’ll be. Time will be allotted between treatments to ensure the tissue heals effectively. If aches or discomfort are felt after a session, try drinking water, soaking in a warm bath, or applying hot compresses to the area. Patients who have experience with acupuncture may find IMS slightly more painful as the needle is inserted into the affected muscle, rather than in specific acupuncture points. Bruising and local tenderness are common side effects of IMS. These effects shouldn’t last more than 24-36 hours.

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Initial Assessment - $115
Follow Up Session - $100
Follow Up Session (Extended)- $135

To book, please select Clinical Physiotherapy from our online booking platform. To maximize your session’s value, and take advantage of our diverse treatment options, fees are inclusive of all treatments used during your session. Your physiotherapist will work with you to help assess which treatments will be most beneficial during your visit.

VanCity Physio offers direct billing.


Tim Fung


Tim completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology from Simon Fraser University and a Master of Physiotherapy Degree from the University of Sydney.

Tim has extensive experience working with a wide range of individuals including youth, working professionals, recreational/semi-professional athletes and weekend warriors.

Tim has additional training and specialization in the following skills: sports injury management, running injuries/running and treadmill assessments, office/workplace injury management, repetitive overuse injuries, injury prevention technique, functional reconditioning, and personalized, tailored exercise prescription.

Our team. Vancity Physiotherapy located in Vancouver, British Columbia. Your trusted Physiotherapy experts.

Ella Hebron


Ella has been practicing physiotherapy for over 10 years in the United Kingdom in various hospitals around London after graduating from University of Brighton in 2011. 

Ella has an interim license as a Physiotherapist with the College of Physiotherapists of British Columbia and is a member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, due to be fully licensed by 2022. She is a member of the Health and Care Professions Council and Chartered Society of Physiotherapy in the United Kingdom. She has spent the last 6 years at the Whittington Hospital London as a Senior Physiotherapist, and has worked with physiotherapists in the leading spinal cord injury rehab centre in London. 

She has clinical experience with clients of all ages, in intensive care rehabilitation, oncology, acute stroke and spinal cord injury rehabilitation and cardiorespiratory physiotherapy. Ella also has extensive experience in orthopaedic rehabilitation, including post trauma rehab, hip and knee replacement, shoulder surgery and ACL rehabilitation.

Our team. Vancity Physiotherapy located in Vancouver, British Columbia. Your trusted Physiotherapy experts.

Jennifer Chew


Jennifer Chew is a Registered Physiotherapist who graduated from UBC with a Masters of Physical Therapy. Along with her physiotherapy degree, Jennifer also has a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from McGill as well as a Masters of Exercise Science and Health Promotion from the California University of Pennsylvania.

In addition to her clinical experience as a physiotherapist, Jennifer has more than a decades-worth of personal training experience and it was personal training that initially got her started into developing a passion for pursuing further education in rehabilitation.

Jennifer uses evidence-based practice and uses her expertise in exercise, strength and conditioning in combination with manual therapy and other treatment modalities to empower her clients to return to their healthy and injury-free life.

Jennifer is also fluent in Cantonese and is proficient in Mandarin.

Our team. Vancity Physiotherapy located in Vancouver, British Columbia. Your trusted Physiotherapy experts.

Ranko Vukovic

Physiotherapist | GUNN IMS Practitioner

Ranko is a Registered Physiotherapist (RPT) licensed with the College of Physiotherapists of British Columbia and a member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. 

He graduated from UBC in 2015 with a Masters of Physical Therapy. A passion for sport saw Ranko work as a BCRPA Certified Personal Trainer and Kinesiologist, creating tailored training programs for a diverse group of clients, educating and motivating them to reach their personal fitness goals. 

Ranko has post-graduate training in treating jaw pain, otherwise known as TMJ and Orofacial pain.  He’s also a Certified CGIMS Practitioner, and has completed his training at UBC. In addition, Ranko finished his Functional Dry Needling (FDN) certification in University of Navada Las Vegas. Ranko's training also includes ShockWave Therapy, Mobilization with Movement and Kinetic Link Training. He was featured in the Top 100 Canadians Magazine for 2020.

Our team. Vancity Physiotherapy located in Vancouver, British Columbia. Your trusted Physiotherapy experts.