REFLEX HAMMER PERCUSSiON HAMMER
Method of use
Reflex and Percussion hammers are used in medical examaination to elicit and check neurological reflexes.
The strength of a reflex is used to gauge central and peripheral nervous system disorders, with the former resulting in hyperreflexia, or exaggerated reflexes, and the latter resulting in hyporeflexia or diminished reflexes. However, the strength of the stimulus used to extract the reflex also affects the magnitude of the reflex. Attempts have been made to determine the force required to elicit a reflex, but vary depending on the hammer used, and are difficult to quantify.
The Taylor hammer is usually held at the end by the physician, and the entire device is swung in an arc-like motion onto the tendon in question. The Queen Square and Babinski hammers are usually held perpendicular to the tendon in question, and are passively swung with gravity assistance onto the tendon.
The Jendrassik maneuver, which entails interlocking of flexed fingers to distract a patient and prime the reflex response, can also be used to accentuate reflexes. In cases of hyperreflexia, the physician may place his finger on top of the tendon, and tap the finger with the hammer. Sometimes a reflex hammer may not be necessary to elicit hyperreflexia, with finger tapping over the tendon being sufficient as a stimulus.