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.

Learning About Stroke


A stroke is a life threatening disease that occurs when blood stops flowing to a part of your brain. The area of your brain left damaged and amount of damage has a direct impact a stroke has on your health and body.

The brain is an extremely complex organ that controls various body functions. The result of a stroke can have an impact on physical functions, communication, emotional and behavioral challenges. These may be paralysis, speech and language problems, memory loss and  visual impairment.

There are many different faces of stroke and can affect men, women and children. 9 in ten Canadians have at least one risk factor for stroke. Knowing your risks of stroke can have a major impact for prevention. High risk for stroke include unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, smoking, stress, drug and alcohol abuse. Small, healthy changes to your lifestyle can reduce the risk of having a stroke.

Speak to your healthcare provider about ways to manage high risk activities, such as a smoking cessation program. Manage existing conditions that are high risk for stroke such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and  diabetes with medication, treatment and continue to make healthy choices. Find resources or groups within your community to support healthy behaviors.

There are some risk factors you cannot change that contribute to stroke. The older you are the higher your chance is for having a stroke. For females your risk of stroke increases after menopause. If you have a family history, for example a relative who had a stroke your chances increase significantly. People of African and South Asian heritage have a higher risk because they are more likely to have high blood pressure, diabetes or other risk factors for heart disease at a younger age.

In the event of a loved one having a stroke, having the proper care and support for their recovery is important for success. Having a stroke team is ideal when it comes to information about whether or not they are ready to safely exercise. A physiotherapist can help you choose a safe and effective program by assessing their personal goals, medical conditions, and abilities. Find a suitable stroke recovery support group to deal with the emotional toll recovery has on your loved one and family.

A stroke is a major life event affecting different abilities in your day to day life. It affects each person differently. Learn about the different physical changes they might experience and ways to manage them. Physical changes can include communication, using your arms and legs, swallowing, bowl and bladder movement. Everyday tasks such as bathing, bathing and grooming may require assistive devices to help you safely perform these activities on your own such as a special shower chair, or an electric shaver for shaving.

Physical and cognitive changes after a stroke can manifest in difficulties when planning and preparing meals. An occupational therapist can help you find devices and strategies to help you manage meal times more independently and safely in the kitchen.

There might be a time in your recovery you may want to return to work. An occupational therapist or vocational counsellor can help you decide if you are ready or not. Some key areas will be taken into consideration such as your ability to do a job. They may look at your physical ability, cognitive, communication, emotional ability  and ability to get around.

Once your team has established it is time to return to work, figure out what is possible for you in terms of how many hours you would like to put in, part time work or adaptations required for your workplace.

Consistency is key is maintaining a healthy lifestyle and reducing the risk factors that can lead to having a stroke. Be mindful when managing your daily life by making time for exercising, eating meals rich in vegetables, fruits, wholesome whole grains and proteins. Take some time out to relax or meditate, it helps with reducing the day’s stress. Avoid excessive alcohol and speak to your health care provider about help with substance abuse. These little lifestyle changes can help you not only feel better but prevent heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke.

It’s Never Too Late!

It’s Never Too Late!

Hello everyone! Today is March 1st and that means that Spring is just right around the corner! This is just a friendly reminder that it is never too late to start on the fitness goals that you set earlier this year! If anything, this beautiful weather that we will have coming up should motivate you even more!

As the sun starts to come around and as temperature start to cool you should consider going for a run or taking a hike out in our beautiful backyard of British Columbia!

Grab a basketball or your tennis racket and play outside for some sunshine!

Remember, all of us at Neurofocus is cheering you on as you strive for a healthier lifestyle!

Got Sore Neck?

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!

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.