Dry Needling and AN-IMS (Intramuscular Stimulation) Information and Consent

What to expect following any treatment using acupuncture needles.

What is Dry needling and AN-IMS

Dry needling and/or AN-IMS is helpful for reducing shortened bands of muscle and for restoring normal tone to muscles thus improving mobility of your joints. This treatment uses a fine needle that is inserted either into the trigger point of a muscle or taut band to facilitate its release. You may experience a muscle twitch and/or deep muscular ache when the needle is inserted into the muscle; this is a normal response to this technique.

Dry needling and AN-IMS are valuable treatments for musculoskeletal problems but like any medical procedure, there are possible complications. While these complications are rare in occurrence, they need to be considered prior to giving consent to the procedure.

  • Dry needling and/or AN-IMS may cause post treatment soreness lasting one to two days, followed by an improvement in the overall pain state. If you experience significant post-treatment soreness, topical application of heat is recommended and gentle range of motion of the sore area.
  • A needle may be placed inadvertently into a capillary or vein, which will subsequently cause a small bruise. Your therapist will notify you should this occur during your treatment.
  • Any time a needle is used there is a risk of infection. To reduce this risk, we clean the area with alcohol and use a sterile acupuncture needle. Please contact your physiotherapist if anything that may seem like an infection occurs.
  • When a needle is inserted near the chest wall there is a rare possibility of it creating a pneumothorax (air in the chest cavity). Fortunately, this complication is not fatal and is readily reversible. We reduce the risk by only inserting the needle over bony points and/or lifting the muscle away from the chest surface and inserting the needle parallel to the chest.

Patients are required to inform their physiotherapist if they are pregnant, use blood thinners, have been exposed to blood diseases such as Hepatitis or HIV, or have any conditions that increase bleeding prior to treatment. In addition, all surgeries should be reported.

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