Understanding Neuroreceptors: Movement Concepts

For all you inquiring minds out there, here is a question on one of our YOUTUBE videos we though was worth making into a post.

Question: “Dr Waerlop says that GTO’s (golgi tendon organs) inhibit muscle tension and muscle spindle apparatuses (MSAs) increase muscle tension. But then he says to treat the attachments (GTOs) to increase the tension and the bellies (MSA’s) to decrease. Seems counterintuitive. What is the modality of tx, acupuncture? Massage?…..What is your modailty for treating these? And does that modality inhibit those neurosensors or stimulate them?”

Answer: GTO’s are high threshold receptors that actually modulate muscle activity through inhibition  (Ib afferents) and Spindles are lower threshold receptors receptors that modulate overall activity, particualrly length. Think of the GTO’s as responding to tension and the spindles as responding to muscle length. Spindles are more in the belly of the muscle and GTO’s at the musculo tendonous junctions. By treating the origin and insertion of the muscles, you can modulate both, whereas treating the belly of the muscles, seems to affect the spindles more.

By treating the origin and insertion of the muscles, you can modulate both, whereas treating the belly of the muscles, seems to affect the spindles more.

The modality can be manual or acupuncture stimulation of the origin/ insertion of the muscle that tests weak.We find that acupuncture seems to work bestbut manual methods work just fine as well. We believe we are normalizing function, rather than specifically inhibiting or exciting. Like Chinese medicine, we are balancing the Yin and the Yang, creating homeostasis.

The Gait Guys: Making it real. Making it understandable. Making it happen : )

http://wp.me/p1DeXj-Jm

Acupuncture can be effective for many types of sports injuries and rehabilitation of gait related disorders. One such study can be found here.

The effect of needling is though to be 3 fold: local, segmental and cortical.

The local effect of needling…

View Post

shared via WordPress.com

A Great Reference Text:

Biomedical Acupuncture for Sports and Trauma Rehabilitation
Dry Needling
Techniques,

Yun-tao Ma, Elsevier, 2010

Both Dr Allen and Dr Waerlop have studied under Dr Ma and Dr Waerlop has had the privilege of teaching with Dr Ma (Dr Waerlop is one of the leading acupuncture instructors in the US and one of the few Dry Needling Instructors)

This book is a follow up to Dr Ma’s 1st book: Biomedical Acupuncture for Pain Management.

They are both great resources for the Western approach to needling for pain management and dry needling, explaining the physiological mechanisms behind both.

Dr Waerlop uses acupuncture extensively for muscle stimulation and facilitation in many gait related disorders, and finds it a valuable adjunct to therapeutic exercise.

The Gait Guys

You can download many lectures on acupuncture by Dr Waerlop and many videos by Drs Allen and Waerlop on rehabilitation and gait, as well as basic science here.


Acupuncture can be effective for many types of sports injuries and rehabilitation of gait related disorders. One such study can be found here.

The effect of needling is though to be 3 fold: local, segmental and cortical.

The local effect of needling occurs at the site of the needle insertion. Local tissue damage causes cytokines to be released and this stimulates both the inflammatory and healing process, as well as increasing local circulation.

The segmental affect is thought to be at the spinal cord level (the dermatome or sclerotome) where inhibition of pain impulses occur (pre synaptic inhibition for you neuro nerds out there)

The cortical or “long loop” effect is thought to be due to activation of higher brain centers which cause descending inhibition of pain and activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis (which appears to be one of the reasons acupuncture can be effective for colds and other problems).

You can view many of our posts on pain and its physiology here to gain a better understanding of the pain pathway and pain modulation.

The Gait Guys: yes, sometimes we are a pain, but we offer solutions to help and give you the research to back it up

“while no significant changes were found in all the gait variables in the sham group, the experimental group had significant increases in the gait speed, step length, as well as in several components of the joint angles and moments.”

Immediate effects of acupuncture on gait patterns in patients with knee osteoarthritis.