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PLoS One. 2015 Jun 5;10(6):e0129006. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0129006. eCollection 2015.

Multi-Acupuncture Point Injections and Their Anatomical Study in Relation to Neck and Shoulder Pain Syndrome (So-Called Katakori) in Japan.

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Department of Anatomy, Tokai University School of Medicine, Isehara-shi, Kanagawa, Japan.
Department of Anesthesiology, Tokai University School of Medicine, Isehara-shi, Kanagawa, Japan.
Department of Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery, Tokai University School of Medicine, Isehara-shi, Kanagawa, Japan.


Katakori is a symptom name that is unique to Japan, and refers to myofascial pain syndrome-like clinical signs in the shoulder girdle. Various methods of pain relief for katakori have been reported, but in the present study, we examined the clinical effects of multi-acupuncture point injections (MAPI) in the acupuncture points with which we empirically achieved an effect, as well as the anatomical sites affected by liquid medicine. The subjects were idiopathic katakori patients (n = 9), and three cadavers for anatomical investigation. BL-10, GB-21, LI-16, SI-14, and BL-38 as the WHO notation were selected as the acupuncture point. Injections of 1 mL of 1% w/v mepivacaine were introduced at the same time into each of these points in the patients. Assessment items were the Pain Relief Score and the therapeutic effect period. Dissections were centered at the puncture sites of cadavers. India ink was similarly injected into each point, and each site that was darkly-stained with India ink was evaluated. Katakori pain in the present study was significantly reduced by MAPI. Regardless of the presence or absence of trigger points, pain was significantly reduced in these cases. Dark staining with India ink at each of the points in the anatomical analysis was as follows: BL-10: over the rectus capitis posterior minor muscle and rectus capitis posterior major muscle fascia; GB-21: over the supraspinatus muscle fascia; LI-16: over the supraspinatus muscle fascia; SI-14: over the rhomboid muscle fascia; and BL-38: over the rhomboid muscle fascia. The anatomical study suggested that the drug effect was exerted on the muscles above and below the muscle fascia, as well as the peripheral nerves because the points of action in acupuncture were darkly-stained in the spaces between the muscle and the muscle fascia.

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