Ott Sign – For Measuring the ROM of the Thoracic Spine

What is Ott Sign?

The ott sign measures the range of motion of the thoracic spine.

Procedure of Performing the Ott Sign 

Step 1 – The patient is in a standing position.

Step 2 – The examiner marks the C7 spinous process and a point 30 cm inferior to it.

This distance decreases by 1-2 cm in maximum extension (leaning backward), and this distance increases by 2-4 cm in flexion, as you can see in the video and diagram below. Therefore, this happens in a normal ott sign procedure.

Ott-sign

But when there is a problem in the spine (degenerative inflammatory process in the spine), there will be a restriction in the spinal mobility & hence restriction in the range of motion of the spinous process. In other words when there is a problem in the spine (degenerative inflammatory process in the spine), there will be a restriction in the spinal mobility & due to this reason there will restriction in the range of motion of the spinous process

Assessment 

The degenerative inflammatory process in the spine restricts spinal mobility and hence the range of motion of the spinous process. In other words, if there is a degenerative inflammatory process in the spine, then there will be restriction or decrement in the spinal mobility and due to this reason there will be decrement in the range of motion of the spinous process. Therefore this indicates a positive ott sign. Let’s understand this.

What is the Normal distance? – The distance from the C7 spinous process and a point 30 cm inferior to it. So the normal distance is 30cm.

Therefore, in a normal ott sign procedure, the normal distance (30cm) decreases by 1-2 cm in maximum extension (leaning backward), and this distance increases by 2-4 cm in flexion. But now, what happens when there is a degenerative inflammatory process in the spine?

If there is a degenerative inflammatory process in the spine, there will be restriction or decrement in the spinal mobility and due to this reason there will be decrement in the range of motion of the spinous process. In other words, the patient will not be able to lean backward normally. And also, the patient will not be able to do flexion properly. Therefore, this indicates a positive ott sign.

You May Also Read 

Rib Test 

Sternum Compression test – Indicates rib fracture or rib dislocation or strain in the intercoastal muscles or imapaired vertebral or coastal mobility

Rib Compression Test – Indicates impaired costosternal or costovertebral joint or a rib fracture.

Sacroiliac Joint Tests

Laguerre Test or Laguerre’s Test – help in differentiating hip pain from saroiliac pain.

Mennell’s Sign / Mennell’s Test – Used to assess degenerative processes in the sacroiliac joint.

Springing Test – To detect functional impairment in the Thoracic & Lumbar spine & Sacroiliac Joint

Gaenslen’s Test – To detect any pathology or dysfunction around the sacroiliac joint.

Standing Flexion Test/ Standing Forward Flexion Test – To assess sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

Faber Test / Patrick’s Test – Used to assess the pathology or dysfunction at the hip joint, muscles around the hip joint, and at the sacroiliac joint.

Cervical Tests 

Cervical Flexion Compression Test –  To identify if there is a Herniated disk in the Cervical spine.

Jackson Compression Test –  To Detect Cervical Radiculopathy (Cervical Nerve Root Compression).

Spurling Test – For Diagnosing Cervical Radiculopathy.

Cervical Distraction Test – To detect the presence of cervical radiculopathy.

O’Donoghue Test – Helps in differentiating between muscular pain (strain) and ligamentous pain (articular problem) in the cervical spine.

Soto Hall Test – For Detecting Problem in Patient’s Neck (Cervical Spine).

Maximum Compression of the Intervertebral Foramina Test of Cervical Spine – For Detecting Facet Joint Dysfunction in the Cervical Spine.

Some other Tests

Pelvic Ligament Tests – used for the assessment of the pelvic ligaments.

Supported Forward Bend Test (Belt Test) – helps in differentiating lumbar pain and sacroiliac pain.

Adam’s Forward Bend Test – For detecting the presence of scoliosis (either functional or structural).

Noble Compression Test/Noble Test –  To assess pain coming from iliotibial band syndrome.

Neer Test –  For detecting the presence of shoulder impingement syndrome.

Resources

Clinical Tests for the Musculoskeletal System: Examinations-Signs-Phenomena by K. Buckup

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