Encyclopedia of Pain

2007 Edition


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-29805-2_31


Ach; ACh


Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter synthesized from choline and acetyl coenzyme A. It is localized in large reticular formation neurons, and is the chemical mediator in the synapse of a motor endplate. The electrical signal of the motor nerve terminal causes release of many packets of acetylcholine. The packets are released into the synaptic cleft, where receptors in the postjunctional membrane of the striated muscle fiber membrane convert the chemical signal to an electrical signal (a propagated action potential), which can produce muscle contractile activity. Normally, an occasional acetylcholine packet is released spontaneously by the nerve terminal without a nerve signal. Each packet produces a miniature endplate potential in the muscle fiber, but its amplitude is too small to be propagated. Myofascial trigger points are associated with excessive spontaneous release of acetylcholine packets in affected endplates.

 Myofascial Trigger Points


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007