Soto-Hall Test is a useful examination to determine if cervical nerve root compression is present. The Soto-Hall Test is also used to rule out suspected cervical vertebral fractures. But we would recommend using imaging to rule out cervical vertebral fractures to avoid any further complications.


Patient supine, examiner passively flexes neck & applies pressure on sternum.

soto hall orthopedic test

Clinician’s Option

By having the patient cross their hands over their chest, inappropriate contact can be avoided (more relevant for female patients)


If test causes radicular pain, it is highly likely that nerve root tension is the cause. However, if pain is local to the cervical spine, consider local injury to muscle, ligaments, facet joint and/or bone.

Positive Soto-Hall Test

There are two interpretation from a possible Soto-Hall Test.

  1. Radicular pain: Nerve root tention
  2. Local cervical pain: Sprain/strain, joint, rib dysfunction

Clinical Notes

Elevation of the knees with flexion of the neck can suggest meningeal irritation or inflammation (Brudzinski’s sign).