Short History: Acupuncture has been practiced for thousands of years to treat a plethora of conditions ranging from all types of pain to fertility to digestive disorders to neurological dysfunction. Recently, acupuncturists have made great strides in combining acupuncture with new technologies, such as electrical stimulation, to increase the effect of acupuncture. One of the most compelling examples of this is the use of acupuncture with or without electricity to stimulate the muscles motor nerve to “retrain neuromuscular function lost due to muscle inhibition following injury or surgery” (1)
What is a Motor Point: The motor point is where the motor neve innervates the muscle, and if functioning properly, causes the muscle to contract when engaged.
How Motor Point Acupuncture Helps Relieve Pain: “Treatment of a specific motor point, found in the central aspect of the muscle where the motor nerve enters the muscle, has the greatest influence on electrical activity and, as a result, the greatest impact on pain.” (1) Motor point stimulation strengthens the injured muscle, increases range of motion, and reduces pain.
Something that is often experienced after an injury, is that other muscles, that weren’t directly involved in the initial injury become painful after some time. This is commonly referred to as ‘compensation pain’. When using motor point acupuncture, the practitioner will treat both the injured muscle (agonist) and its counter part muscle (antagonist).
Motor point acupuncture is a very specific acupuncture technique and requires the practitioner to have a thorough knowledge of the musculoskeletal system so that they can identify the injured muscle correctly, and locate the motor point (which is smaller than a quarter)
- Callison, Matt. Motor Point Index – An Acupuncturist’s Guide to Locating and Treating Motor Ponts . Matt Callison. Kindle Edition.