Patient Information Resources

1089 Spadina Road
Toronto, AL M5N 2M7
Ph: 416-483-2654
Fax: 416-483-2654

Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

View Web RX

« Back

When a doctor uses a rubber hammer to check my reflexes, what are they looking for? Do they want the leg or arm to move or not to move?

A reflex hammer is used to check how well your nerves react to the stimulus of being tapped. Your doctor knows where the nerve is closest to the skin in the elbow and knee. By taking the point of the reflex hammer and tapping it, your arm or leg should react in a certain way.

If the doctor taps lightly, he or she will not expect a wild or intense reaction but some reaction is expected. Likewise, if the tap is harder, the reaction would be expected to be a bit more intense.

Sometimes, it can be hard for the reflex test to be done if the patient is concentrating on it, so it wouldn't be unusual for the doctor to find a way to distract the patient. The best result is done if the patient isn't paying attention to the tapping.


« Back

*Disclaimer:*The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.

All content provided by eORTHOPOD® is a registered trademark of Mosaic Medical Group, L.L.C.. Content is the sole property of Mosaic Medical Group, LLC and used herein by permission.