The Babinski reflex is a pathological nerve reflex in adults. Nerve conditions show up in the physical examination sometimes with a muscle tendon reflex that should not be there. This is what is called a pathological reflex. I thought you would like to see what some of these bad sign nerve reflexes look like.
So I have had a look around for some videos so you can see these abnormal nerve reflex signs in patients with nerve conditions.
Table of Contents
What is The Babinski’s Reflex
The Babinski’s reflex is abnormal when seen in adult patients and normal in baby patients.
In babies there nervous systems have a reaction to extend the toes, but we grow out of this (usually by 6 months) and should develop a plantar response or flex the toes down reaction.
How to Do The Examination
An instructional video on how to perform the test properly with a reflex hammer and what to look for in the movement of the toes.
Abnormal Test in an Adult
Here is a video showing an adult patient with a positive Babinski’s sign and a normal, expected foot reaction on the other side.
Normal Test in a Baby
Here is a video of a healthy baby with a normal extensor response to their foot being stroked.
This neurological reflex is associated with a problem in the brain or spinal cord. Clinically it is a pathological reflex for diagnosing an upper motor neuron lesion. This means there is damage to the nerves higher up in the spinal cord or brain. The damage can be acquired like a sudden trauma from a car accident or sport injury. The reflex can also develop with nerve conditions like multiple sclerosis and cervical spondylotic myelopathy.
So the next time you are at your doctors or chiropractor and during the examination they stroke the bottom of your foot with their reflex hammer now you know why. They are probably testing for a plantar reflex, but if there is a problem they will see a Babinski reflex.