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Motor point Acupuncture at Komyuniti

What is an acupuncture motor point?

Every muscle within the body has a motor point that can be stimulated. These points are where motor nerves innervate from the spine to activate a muscle. The motor point when treated can restore an inhibited muscle that is not functioning correctly. Motor muscle inhibition occurs due to chemical or physical trauma that affects the muscles ability to send nerve impulses to contract and function optimally (Nakagawa et al, 2020).

How do we know if a muscle is inhibited?

Orthopedic muscle tests are used to evaluate a person’s musculoskeletal impairment. Specific tests are applied to areas of an injury to assist with diagnosis and treatment plan for which muscles require activation. Restoring muscle inhibition can improve strength, range of motion and reduce pain.

What treatments can be provided to stimulate motor points and restore motor inhibition?

Acupuncture needles can be inserted into the belly of all muscles where the motor points are found. Electrostimulation can be added to the needle to enhance its effectiveness. However, if an individual is sensitive to needles, manual muscle release and deep tissue massage will also restore motor inhibition if directly applied to the motor point (Moon et al, 2012).

What is the difference between a motor point and a trigger point?

A trigger point is often simply referred to as a “knot”. It’s a hyperirritable spot located within a tight band of muscle that creates pain locally when palpated and may also create pain referrals to other locations.

Motor points are located within the belly of the muscles that conduct motor nerve impulses. Treatment at these points can restore motor function, regulate and improve the range of motion of a muscle.

Within a treatment at komyuniti, often both trigger and motor points are targeted, with the addition of traditional acupuncture points to facilitate optimal clinical outcomes.

How does motor point acupuncture treatment work for the muscular pain or condition I’m experiencing?

Treatments are staged into two steps. Orthopedic testing is used to diagnose which muscles in relation to the injury site are mechanically inhibited.  The motorpoints are then stimulated via dry needle, electro acupuncture or manual stimulation. The activation of the motorpoint aims to correct the dysfunction and restores musculoskeletal biomechanics of the affected area.

Research commonly demonstrates that pain in one location of the body is a symptom of weakness and inhibition of muscles somewhere else in the body.  For instance, knee pain is commonly associated with motor inhibition of the hip abductors and lower back pain can be attributed to inhibited transverse abdominis and the obliques (Sedory et al, 2007).

Written by Daniel Ooi




Moon, J. Y., Hwang, T. S., Sim, S. J., Chun, S. I., & Kim, M. (2012). Surface mapping of motor points in biceps brachii muscle. Annals of rehabilitation medicine, 36(2), 187–196. https://doi.org/10.5535/arm.2012.36.2.187

Kento Nakagawa, Austin J. Bergquist, Taro Yamashita, Takashi Yoshida, Kei Masani, (2020), Motor point stimulation primarily activates motor nerve, Neuroscience Letters, Vol 736, 135246, DOI : https://doi.org/10.5535/arm.2012.36.2.187

Sedory EJ, McVey ED, Cross KM, Ingersoll CD, Hertel J. Arthrogenic muscle response of the quadriceps and hamstrings with chronic ankle instability. J Athl Train. 2007;42(3):355-360


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