Published in the Times Standard
      The patellar, the achilles, biceps, triceps and wrist reflexes are a few of the body’s indicators of spinal function and communication. They are known as simple reflexes.
      When the doctor taps below your knee or at the back of the ankle, a certain response level from 0 to +4 should be elicited in the appropriate muscle. This response occurs without direct signals from the brain. It happens through what is known as the reflex arc. This is a simple neural path that controls the reflex action. The pathway involves a sensory and a motor nerve. The tapping of the patellar tendon below the knee initiates the knee-jerk or patellar reflex. The tap starts the action (action potential) in a specialized structure in the thigh muscle (quadriceps) called the muscle spindle. This action potential travels to the spinal cord along this sensory and spinal nerve. In the spinal cord a connection (or synapse) is made to a motor nerve that exits through the spinal nerve to the quadricep. This nerve activates contraction of the quadricep muscle causing the knee-jerk response. Any aberrant reflex, either no response or overexaggerated, can indicate a nerve lesion blocking the response mechanisms of the reflex arc. It can be the spinal cord, spinal nerve, chemical, or brain related  in the more complex reflexes. If there are more serious nervous system indicators, such as loss of balance, vomiting, slurred speech, muscle control loss, an MRI or CT scan would be necessary.
       Spinal nerve involvement can usually be corrected through the proper adjustment. Removing any interference along this reflex arc, whether in the muscle or at the spinal level, helps restore function to the joint and muscle. Pain and/or tenderness over the related spinal level is a common finding. Releasing the blocked nerve flow reduces the pain and allows the healing process to continue through Chiropractic “naturally”.
Crosbie Chiropractic
Michael H. Crosbie, D.C.
1828 Main Street
Fortuna, CA 95540
(707) 725-5668