Small, localised areas of spontaneous electrical activity were found at combined acupuncture and myofascial trigger point sites, corresponding to Gall Bladder 21 in the Trapezius and Small Intestine 11 in the Infraspinatus, in patients with active myofascial neck and shoulder pain. The monopolar needle EMG techniques used to assess spontaneous electrical activity offer the possibility of providing an objective measure of both point activity and the effects of therapeutic intervention. Further studies are needed to examine not just the painful lesion itself, but its dynamic relationship with its corresponding spinal segment and associated higher centres. There are important similarities between acupuncture pain points and trigger points, and observations of both can be used profitably in further studies of myofascial pain and dysfunction.
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