Motor Points, Trigger Points, and Sports Medicine

Sore muscles are something that we all suffer from. If we’re lucky the muscle relaxes and heals very quickly. There are times, however, when that does not happen and we’re sore at best or incapacitated at worst. These sore muscles can range from chronically sore and tight shoulders, chronic low back pain, the “old age groan” when we get out of a chair, that pain in the elbow that just won’t quit, to an acute injury you got moving furniture or playing sports. Motor point and electro acupuncture is very effective for sore, tight, and injured muscles and treating these problems is a big part of my practice.

Motor Point Acupuncture is a type of acupuncture that is also a part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). It’s a technique that stimulates tight muscles using hair-thin needles. It helps to speed up the body’s healing and also helps to boost your well-being. Motor Point Acupuncture focuses on the stimulation of motor points. These are specific points on the body that activate muscles. This treatment has been shown to be effective for a variety of conditions, including chronic pain, sports injuries, and even infertility.

What is Motor Point Acupuncture and what are Motor Points?

This is an acupuncture technique that originated from China and is being explored and researched around the world. It is intramuscular stimulation that specifically targets short, contracted muscles or long lazy muscles. This type of acupuncture treatment is ideal for chronic tight muscles, sports injuries, musculoskeletal pain, and other disorders. It is also used to help in injury prevention.

A motor point is an anatomical location where the nerve enters the muscle. By inserting a needle into this point – and sometimes using electrical stimulation to encourage the muscle to fire properly – motor point acupuncture can dis-inhibit muscles that aren’t firing properly and relax muscles that are tight.

Motor point acupuncture helps to reset the most excitable contracted muscles to loosen them up so they can return to their normal function and reduce inflammation. Having an imbalance amongst muscles, or tight muscles, is a result of overuse, which is often overlooked. In the long run it causes pain and dysfunction.

How is it Done?

A needle is inserted near a motor nerve for chronic tight muscles. This will result in an involuntary twitch. At the point of insertion, the needle will be stimulated with a little amount of electric current to stimulate the muscle to move or twitch as it loosens up. For ideal results, this is combined with other types of techniques, such as traditional acupuncture or continuous electro-acupuncture.

Motor point acupuncture can be an exciting and effective way to treat musculoskeletal issues. It has the power to help the body recover from pain quickly and give relief. It also motivates the muscles to function properly, and in this way, the range of motion is also increased.

Conditions Treated by Motor Point Acupuncture

This type of acupuncture technique can best help the following conditions: chronic muscle pain, sports injuries, musculoskeletal pain, and other muscle dysfunction. It can also aid in treating internal disorders such as the common cold, digestive disorders, cough, and headaches. It is also used for injury prevention.

In order to know if your condition can be treated by motor point acupuncture, a thorough assessment is needed to be done during your acupuncture treatment.

Benefits of Motor Point Acupuncture

Motor point acupuncture is proven as a healing therapy for joint and muscle dysfunction. Here are the following benefits laid by the motor point acupuncture:

• It reduces the pain with quick therapy.
• It is a direct method to stimulate specific muscles.
• It gives relaxation to the muscles.
• It lessens the tension between muscles.
• It reduces inflammation.
• It can help the muscle and joints to return to their normal function.

I use motor points on a daily basis in my practice. From my experience, this therapy works well for pain ranging from acute sports injuries to chronic and systemic body pain. Patients tend to receive the almost immediate relief that lasts for a few days. Sometimes the pain is gone for good and sometimes you will need a series of treatments along with physical awareness of what you can do to prevent further muscle inhibition. Pain and healing depend on many factors of including how long patient has been suffering from this condition. 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 example, knee pain is commonly associated with motor inhibition of the hip abductors or quadriceps, and lower back pain can be attributed to transverse abdominis and the obliques.

What should I expect?

Prior to your first motor point session I will ask questions to determine the problem areas and we will go over the process so that you understand exactly what will happen during the treatment. If appropriate we might do some muscle testing to see which muscles are weak or tight.

There can be some initial soreness as the formerly knotted muscles relax and return to their normal length, and there is more blood flow in the muscle fibers. The benefits, however, become apparent before long.

During your session I will also combine traditional acupuncture with trigger points and motor points to expedite your healing and get your body back to its peak performance.

Sports Medicine

Common injuries acupuncture sports medicine can treat & speed recovery time:


  • Muscle Sprain
  • Tight neck and shoulders
  • Pain in the low back
  • Neck pain
  • Rhomboid/Levator scapula pain
  • Tendonitis
  • Ligament Sprain
  • Rotator Cuff injury
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Golfers Elbow
  • Sacroiliac Joint Pain
  • Piriformis Syndrome
  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Bicipital Tendonitis
  • Impingement Syndrome
  • Sciatica
  • (IT) Iliotibial Band Syndrome
  • Runners Knee

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