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Positive Hoover's Sign

Can anyone tell me when a neurologist says the term, Positive Hoovers signs , are they implying the weakness one feels in their legs is all in their mind and doesnt really exist? Thanks  
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572651 tn?1530999357
This is a very real physical problem and is a sign of functional weakness in your leg(s).  A good explanation of this can be found at


I'm sorry you left feeling like you were being doubted.

be well, Lulu
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635835 tn?1272539383

We learned that a positive sign means there was no downward pressure in the leg resting in the testers hand and maximal effort was not being put forth with the leg being tested.
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572651 tn?1530999357
The site I referenced talks about not being believed when this is the result .... I found it interesting - they compared it to a migraine headache that you can't find a physical reason for the headache but it is still very real.      Why that maximal effort was not being made was linked to reasons other than the person's lack of attempt.  As always, I'm not the expert and Ashley certainly knows more with her PT background.  
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Avatar universal
Thanks Lulu and Ashley for your reply. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.
I just wanted to add a bit about positive hoover signs. It is very confusing when you read about this and makes you wonder what your neuro is really thinking and why he does this test. Below is something I cut and pasted regarding doing this test .....
These tests, although useful, should be interpreted cautiously for the following reasons....
Pain in the affected hip may produce greater weakness on direct, compared with indirect, testing as a result of attentional phenomena (related to pain rather than weakness)

Cortical neglect can cause a positive Hoover’s sign

The test may be mildly positive in normal individuals because of a splinting effect

None of the studies testing its utility were blinded and none mention the problem of neglect
I myself do not know what these points really mean  ie cortical neglect? splinting effect? Any ideas? Thanks Heather
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