2 3 Technical Tuesday Knee Jerk Reaction | Ballet Webb

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Technical Tuesday Knee Jerk Reaction

Technical Tuesday Knee Jerk Reaction

We all know sensation of having a doctor strike the area just below the patella (knee cap) with a little hammer. Here is a description of exactly what is happening from 

 “ Striking the patellar ligament with a reflex hammer just below the patella stretches the muscle spindle in the quadriceps muscle. This produces a signal which travels back to the spinal cord and synapses (without interneurons) at the level of L3 in the spinal cord, completely independent of higher centres.”

Why does a doctor do this? Here is the answer from https://www.britannica.com/topic/knee-jerk-reflex:

“The sharp tap on the tendon slightly stretches the quadriceps, the complex of muscles at the front of the upper leg. In reaction these muscles contract, and the contraction tends to straighten the leg in a kicking motion. Exaggeration or absence of the reaction suggests that there may be damage to the central nervous system. The knee jerk can also be helpful in recognizing thyroid disease.”

I wonder if dancers have a more pronounced reaction than the average person… Hmmm.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Anatomical Secret #26aa:
“The patellar ligament is the spot a doctor strikes with a hammer to check your reflexes.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“One must fight for a life of action, not reaction.”
-         Rita Mae Brown

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