Understanding Plantar Reflex
Plantar reflex can be described as a reflex that gets elicited whenever sole of the foot gets stimulated by a thumb or an instrument. If the hallux moves towards the surface of the foot, then the reflex is known as babinski reflex. In the case of young children the hallux moves in the upward direction, however after the age of two years the hallux starts moving in the downward direction. If it still moves towards the surface of the foot, then it suggests that the nervous system of the child or the adult has been damaged. In normal adults, the hallux provides a downward response whenever the sole of the foot is stimulated.
What is a Babinski Reflex?
Abnormal babinski reflex in children above the age of two years or adults maybe present in one foot or in both the feet. Adults having this reflex tend to suffer from weakness, loss of control, in coordination and neurological difficulties. If an adult is detected with babinski reflex, then the doctor tends to do a proper physical examination of the nervous system in order to detect the cause behind this disorder. Once a complete diagnosis is done and the cause of the problem has been found out, then the doctor suggests the patient with proper treatment options. Along with adults, this reflex is also found in animals such as cats and dogs. In order to determine whether your pet is suffering from babinski reflex or not, you can stimulate the sole of the animal’s foot by your thumb and if the big toe provides an upward response then it proves the presence of babinski reflex. The toes of the animal tend to splay in outward direction. Babinski reflex in animals also suggests that their nervous system hasn’t been developed properly or has been damaged.
Causes of Babinski Reflex
There can be several causes behind babinski reflex, most affecting the nervous system or the spine. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, friedreich’s ataxia, head injury, brain tumor, hepatic encephalopathy, multiple sclerosis, meningitis, poliomyelitis, pernicious anemia, spinal cord injury, spinal cord tumor, rabies, stroke, syringomyelia and tuberculosis affecting the spine are some of the common causes behind this disorder. However babinski reflex rarely occurs in adults and can be fixed with proper treatment. In most of the cases, the reflex is temporary and not permanent.