Soto Hall Test

What is the Soto Hall Test?

A Soto hall test is a non-specific test of cervical spine function. A Soto hall test indicates a problem in the patient neck (cervical spine) that could be due to a bone problem ( ex. fracture of vertebrae) or ligament problem, or it could be due to a muscle problem.

How To Perform The Soto Hall Test?

Soto Hall Test is performed in two ways. One is an active method (the patient performs on its own no need of examiner), and the other is a passive method (with the help of an examiner).

Passive Method (With the help of an examiner)

  • The patient is placed in the supine lying position without a pillow.
  • The examiner places one hand on the patient’s sternum and applies mild pressure to prevent any flexion in the lumbar or thoracic region of the spine.
  • The examiner’s other hand is placed under the patient’s occiput, and the patient’s head is gently flexed towards the chest.

Active Method

  • The patient is placed in the supine lying position without a pillow.
  • The examiner places one hand on the patient’s sternum and applies mild pressure to prevent any flexion in the lumbar or thoracic region of the spine.
  • Now the examiner asks the patient to gently flex his head towards the chest. The examiner does not place his other hand under the patient’s occiput in this method.

soto-hall-test

Result

Result of Passive Method (With the help of an examiner) 

The Soto hall test is considered positive when reports pain in the back of the neck at the time when the examiner applies pressure during the passive raising of the head. A positive Soto hall test by passive method would indicate a bone or ligament disorder in the cervical spine. In other words when the test is performed by a passive method and it turns out to be positive then it would indicate a bone or ligament disorder in the cervical spine.

Flexion of the head and neck on the chest progressively produces a pull on the posterior spinous ligament from above. The patient will feel acute local pain when the spinous process of an injured vertebra is reached.

Result of Active Method 

The Soto hall test is considered positive if the patient reports pain when this test is performed actively (by the patient). Actively means when the examiner asks the patient to gently flex his head towards the chest. A positive Soto hall test by active method would indicate a muscle problem.

In other words when the test is performed by an active method and it turns out to be positive then it would indicate a muscle problem in the cervical spine.

You May Also Read – 

Cervical Flexion Compression Test – To identify if there is a herniated disk in the cervical spine (Cervical Radiculopathy or Cervical Disc Herniation)

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.

Resources

Soto Hall – by Renan Lovisetto

Orthopedic & Neurological Tests/Explanations

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

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