Why Does the Doctor Hit My Knee?

Why Does the Doctor Hit My Knee? 

When a doctor taps your knee, your leg will kick back. This is called a patellar reflex. Doctors use these tests to determine whether there are problems with your nervous system or if the knee has been injured. If your leg kicks back when a doctor taps your knee, it could mean that there is a problem with your kneecap. Read on to learn more about this test and how it’s performed. 

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Reflex tests are used to check if there are problems in the nervous system 

Reflex tests are simple physical tests that assess the function of the nervous system. Nerves transmit signals from the brain to the spinal cord, which in turn relays the signals to muscles. The nervous system sometimes becomes faulty, resulting in increased muscle spasticity and a higher level of reflex response. Prior brain injury, stroke, or spinal cord injury are also possible causes of Parkinson’s disease. A reflex test can help a doctor diagnose the condition. The Babinski test involves gently stroking the sole of the foot to determine whether the nervous system is developing properly. 

Your leg kicks when a doctor taps your knee 

You may have noticed that your leg kicks when a doctor taps it. If you’ve never had your reflexes tested, you might not know it exists. However, a reflex test can reveal problems with your nerves or nervous system. This test also provides important information on the health of the connective tissue in your knee and legs.

They are used to diagnose a knee injury 

A sprain is an injury to one of the three main ligaments that stabilize the knee. There are multiple ligaments that stabilize the knee, including the anterior cruciate ligament, which runs from front to back. The medial and lateral collateral ligaments stabilize the knee side to side. Depending on the severity of the sprain, the knee may be inflamed. A grade one sprain will cause pain and instability in the knee. Grade two knee sprains are less severe and more stable. 

They are painful 

The first thing that should be kept in mind when the doctor taps your knee is that he is in effect testing your reflexes. Specifically, a tap on your knee will cause a stretch in your thigh muscle. This stretch sends a signal along the sensory neuron from the knee to the spinal cord. The spinal cord then interacts with a motor neuron in the thigh muscle, causing the leg to kick out. This reaction is called a knee jerk. The response requires just one jump to trigger it.