Sponge Test is a thoracic spine examination procedure that helps diagnose acute inflammatory lesions of the spine and myofascial fibrositis.


Patient should be awake and cooperative while the Sponge Test is being done.

  1. Patient is prone.
  2. The examiner uses a hot moist sponge or a hot pack to be placed up and down the spine for several times.
  3. The examiner assesses the patient for specific locations where she feels pain while moving the sponge or hot pack.


Positive Sponge Test

There is positive Sponge Test when patient complains of pain during the procedure. Pain could be due to an acute inflammatory lesion of the spine, myofacial trigger points or myofascial fibrositis.

Clinical Notes

There is a number of versions of the Sponge Test and may be applied to other areas of the body where there is suspected acute inflammation.

Patients have different responses to heat according to their condition. If heat aggravates the patient’s condition, do not use heat as initial treatment. If a patient’s condition is improved with heat then examiners can use this as a treatment option