Clinical Usefulness of M-test on Patients with Chronic Neck Pain: A Single Arm Pre-post Comparison Study

M-test에 근거한 만성 경항통 환자의 진단 및 치료: 전후비교 임상연구

  • Received : 2016.09.19
  • Accepted : 2016.10.10
  • Published : 2016.10.31


Objectives The purpose of this study was to investigate the clinical usefulness of M-test (Meridian test) as an adjunctive evaluation and treatment in patients with chronic neck pain. Methods This study was a single arm pre-post comparison study. Thirty-six eligible subjects with chronic neck pain were recruited from August to September, 2015. M-test was used for evaluating the condition of meridian, which can induce the limitation of ROM and body discomfort. Subjects were offered intradermal acupuncture treatment on one-acupoint for 48 hours. Cervical numeric rating scale (NRS), cervical range of motion (ROM), neck disability index (NDI) and surface electromyography (SEMG) were measured before and after the treatment. Total NRS and the number of movement limitation of M-test were also measured before and after the treatment. Results Among the 36 participating subjects, 4 subjects were lost to follow-up or excluded in accordance with the criteria. Significant differences on Cervical NRS and NDI were found after the treatment (p<0.001). There was a significant difference in the range of left cervical rotation (p<0.05). Root mean square (RMS) of SEMG significantly decreased on the right sternocleidomastoid muscle (p<0.05), but significantly increased on the right trapezius muscle (p<0.05). Median frequency (MdF) of SEMG significantly increased on both sternocleidomastoid muscles. There appears to be significant differences after the treatment in total NRS and the number of movement limitation of M-test (p<0.05). Conclusions These results suggest that the evaluation and treatment of M-test based on the meridian and collateral theory were effective on cervical NRS and NDI, and also improved the movability of human body.


M-test;Neck Pain;Acupuncture


  1. Park WH. A Study on Diagnosis of Meridian Points (I). The Journal of the Korea Institute of Oriental Medical Diagnostics. 2001;5(2):175-96.
  2. Kwon HJ, Park DS, Nam SS, Kim YS. A Review on the Clinical Use of the Eight Extra Meridians. The Journal of Korean Acupuncture & Moxibustion Society. 2009;26(3):103-13.
  3. Department of Biofunctional Medicine & Diagnostics, College of Oriental Medicine. Biofunctional Medicine. Seoul:Koonja. 2008:132, 145.
  4. Hwang MS, Yoon JH. Study of the Meridian Muscle Theory. The Journal of Korean Acupuncture & Moxibustion Society. 2005;22(1):29-39.
  5. Song YK, Lim HH. The Study of Myofascial Meridian Clinical Application for Functional Exercise and Manual Therapy(I). The Journal of Korea CHUNA Manual Medicine. 2002;3(1):65-83.
  6. Yoshito M. The Meridian Test: Acupuncture Treatment Based on Assessment of Movement. North American Journal of Oriental Medicine. 2012[22pages]. Available form: URL:
  7. Lee WC. M-test. Gyeonggi: Sungyuldang. 2015:29-44, 63-71, 86-93.
  8. Shuji O, Yoshito M. Efficacy and Cost Effectiveness of the Acupuncture Treatment Using a New Skin Stimulus Tool Called M-Test Which Is a Measure Based on Symptoms Accompanied with Body Movements: A Pragmatic RCT Targeting Hemodialysis Patients. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2015[cited 2015 May 3]; 2015: [8 pages]. Available from: URL:
  9. Ryu YJ, Sun SH, Lee YH, Choi GY, Lee SJ, Lee KH. The Clinical Study of 29 Cases on Effects of Cervical Hyeopcheok (Jiaji) Point Treatment for Neck Pain. The Journal of Korean Acupuncture & Moxibustion Society. 2010;27(4):239-45.
  10. Wang WTJ, Oslon SL, Campbell AH, Hanten WP, Gleeson PB. Effective-ness of physical therapy for patients with neck: An individualized approach using a clinical decision-making algorithm. American journal of physical medicine & rehabilitation. 2003;82(3):203-18.
  11. Lopez LA, Alonso PJL, Gonzalez GJL, La Touche R, Lerma LS, Izquierdo H, Fernandez CJ. Mobilization versus manipulations versus sustain apophyseal natural glide techniques and interaction with psychological factors for patients with chronic neck pain: randomized controlled trial. European journal of physical and rehabilitation medicine. 2015;51(2):121-32.
  12. Song KJ, Choi BW, Kim SJ, Yoon SJ. Cross-Cultural Adaptation and Validation of the Korean Version of the Neck Disability Index. Journal of Korean Orthopaedic Association. 2009;44(3):350-9.
  13. Wolfenberger VA, Bui Q, Batenchuk GB. A comparison of methods of evaluating cervical range of motion. Journal of manipulative physiological therapeutics. 2002;25(3):154-60.
  14. Pringle RK. Intra-instrument reliability of 4 goniometers. Journal of chiropractic medicine. 2003;2(3):91-5.
  15. Grace PY, Leon MS, Peter B. A comparison of symptomatic and asymptomatic office workers performing monotonous keyboard work: Neck and shoulder muscle recruitment patterns. Manual Therapy. 2005;10:270-80.
  16. Gonzalez IM, Malanda A, Navarro AI, Gorostiaga EM, Mallor F, Ibanez J, Izquierdo M. EMG spectral indices and muscle power fatigue during dynamic contractions. Journal of electromyography and kinesiology. 2010;20(2):233-40.
  17. Nam KB, Jo YK, Rew JH, Kim SS. The Relationship Between Neck Pain and Physical Factors in Female Office Workers. The Journal of Korean CHUNA Manual Medicine for Spine & Nerves. 2009;4(1):53-63.
  18. Yun SJ, Pack SH, Kim HJ, Shin MH. Effect of Yoga Performance on the Waist Muscle Activation in the Middle Age Woman. Asian Journal of Beauty and Cosmetology. 2010;8(1):21-9.
  19. Kim GW, Kim JS. Analysis of Surface EMG Power Spectrum and Muscle Fatigue Depending on the Variable of Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation. The Journal of Korean Society of Physical Therapy. 2014;26(5):280-9.
  20. Kim DH. Hwangjenaegyeong Young Chu. Seoul: Uisungdang. 2002:422-52.
  21. Thomas WM. Anatomy Trains. Seoul:Elsevier Korea. 2014:47-50, 92-5, 118, 122-4, 146-9, 189, 226-9.
  22. Song YK, Lim HH. The Study of Core Muscle as Meridian Tendino-usculature. Journal of Society of Korean Medicine for Obesity Research. 2007;7(2):77-84.
  23. Kassolik K, Andrzejewski W, Trzeesicka E, Charlton G. Anatomical grounds for the use of the tensegrity principle in massage. Polish journal of physiotherapy. 2007;7:332-43.
  24. Editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Boston:Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Available form: URL:
  25. Robert IC, Alan JG. Myofascial Manipulation. Maryland: Aspen publication. 2001:27.
  26. John EU. Craniosacral therapy (I). Seoul:Korean Society of Chuna manual Medicine Publishers. 1998:21.
  27. Stecco C, Macchi V, Porzionato A, Duparc F, De Caro R. The fascia: the forgotten structure. Italian journal of anatomy and embryology. 2011;116(3):127-38.
  28. Langevin HM. Connective tissue: a body-wide signaling network. Medical hypotheses. 2006;66(6):1074-7.
  29. Langevin HM, Bouffard NA, Badger GJ, Churchill DL, Howe AK. Subcuta-neous tissue fibroblast cytoskeletal remodeling induced by acupuncture: evidence for a mechanotransduction-based mechanism. Journal of cellular physiology. 2006;207(3):767-74.
  30. Kassolik K, Jaskolska A, Kisiel-Sajewicz K, Marusiak J, Kawczynski A, Jaskolski A. Tensegrity principle in massage demonstrated by electro- and mechanomyography. Journal of bodywork and movement therapies. 2009;13(2):164-70.
  31. Macchi V, Tiengo C, Porzionato A, Stecco C, Vigato E, Parenti A, Azzena B, Weiglein A, Mazzoleni F, De Caro R. Histotopographic study of the fibro-adipose connective cheek system. Cells Tissues Organs. 2010;191(1):47-56.
  32. Lancerotto L, Stecco C, Macchi V, Porzionato A, Stecco A, De Caro R. Layers of the abdominal wall: anatomical investigation of subcutaneous tissue and superficial fascia. Surgical and radiologic anatomy. 2011;33(10):835-42.
  33. Huijing PA, Maas H, Baan GC. Compartmental fasciotomy and isolation a muscle from neighboring muscles interfere with myofascial force transmission within the rat anterior crural compartment. Journal of morphology. 2003;256(3):306-21.
  34. Clemente CD. Anatomy of the human body. 30th American ed. Philadelphia:Lea&Febiger. 1985:432.
  35. Department of medical Classics, College of Oriental Medicine. Classic on Difficulty-Nanjing. Seoul:Bubin Publishers. 2010:161.
  36. Korean Society of Chuna Manual Medicine for Spine & Nerves. The Malalignment Syndrome. Seoul:Elsevier Korea. 2006:3, 26-30.
  37. Irnich D, Behrens N, Gleditsch JM, Stor W, Schreiber MA, Schops P, Vickers AJ, Beyer A. Immediate effects of dry needling and acupuncture at distant points in chronic neck pain: results of a randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled crossovertrial. Pain. 2002;99(1-2):83-9.