Here’s another great article by our musculo-skeletal acupuncturist Hamish Reid, sharing his treatment strategies and the awesome power of motor points for the plantar fasciitis.
The motor point is technically where the motor nerve innervates the muscle (neuromuscular junction).
These are areas of high electrical conductivity, so in my view it is extremely important to release the motor point in conjunction with needling your other trigger points, as this will physically have the best effect on the electrical activity of the muscle (where the muscles contraction and tenderness will indicate an upset in the electrical activity of that muscle).
These Motor points will be VERY tender on palpation and will illicit a sharpish straight out uncomfortable feeling.
The centre of the heel, right at the attachment of the plantar fascia to the calcaneus (see purple circle on image on previous page labelled RF2), is where Plantar Fasciitis commonly occurs (although it can occur at the balls of the feet as well). When you are standing, your entire body weight is transferred through the inferior surface of the Talus bone, and to the bottom of the calcaneus. Again right where the Plantar Fascia (or Flexor Digitorum Brevis) attaches to the heel – you can imagine how painful and inflamed the area would get being on your feet with all that weight on that area!
The motor point for the plantar fascia where the Tibial nerve innervates the flexor digitorum brevis is located midway on the centre line of the sole, between the depression formed (near the base of the 2nd toe), when the foot is plantar flexed (see green circle on image on previous page labelled RF1) and the attachment point of the plantar fascia to the calcaneus (purple circle labelled RF2).
This will be very tender as well. By releasing the motor point it can immediately take the pressure off the Plantar fascia and allow it to absorb the blood getting there more effectively. You should get a nice jerk as it releases. Needle this perpendicularly.
Also steer the patient away from wearing totally flat shoes so the weight can transfer away from the attachment site.
Needles I recommend are the DB100 DongBang Spring Metal sizes 0.25mm x 30mm.
(PS: for more needle sensitive clients, you can use 0.20mm x 30mm)