Ref: Deep Tendon Reflexes
  1. General considerations
  2. Upper limb: supinator, biceps, triceps, fingers
  3. Lower limb: knees, ankles, plantar
  5. Increasing a reflex
General considerations
Upper limb reflexes

Upper limb reflex diagram

Supinator/Brachioradialis (C5-6):
Biceps (C5-6):
Triceps (C7-8):



Fingers (C7-T1):
Lower limb reflexes

Lower limb reflex diagram

Knees (L3-4):



Ankles (S1-2):

3 options, all need ankle and knee joints both at 90 angle. The first 2 options also make hip abducted and externally rotated, which is good.

Supine, heel on shin method:

Supine, heel resting on bed method:

Pt kneeling on bed method:

Plantar (L5, S1-2):
Increasing a reflex

If can't elicit a reflex, can increase its visibility via any of 3 methods.

  1. Clenching teeth.
  2. Jendrassik's maneuver:
    • Pt clasps hands together tightly.
    • Pt. releases hands just before tap hammer.
  3. Gripping an object.

Obviously, teeth clenching is the only appropriate one while testing upper limbs.