Confused about physio findings can anyone help?

Hi folks,

I haven’t had a diagnosis yet and after pushing my GP for a referral I am still waiting to see a neuro. I have just had 2 assessments with a physiotherapist as I have had problems with my right arm and leg for over a year now. I’m a bit confused by what her findings actually mean. I have definite muscle weakness down my right side particularly in the same places I keep getting muscle spasms which is in the bicep and thighs. My reflexes are also very poor in my right side compared with my left, in fact she said they were very difficult to find at all but they are there, but my plantar reflex is absolute minimal and there is an issue with my big toe as it wont in the words of the physio ‘play ball’. She said whilst waiting on neuro appointment to come around to continue with physio sessions so as not to allow further muscle degeneration. I just wondered if anyone on here knew more about plantar reflex or the absense of it and does it indicate a possible lession or nerve damage?

Karen x


do yourself a huge favour and put yourself in their hands. If you’re being referred then wait for the referral and don’t second guess what’s up.

My osteo told me I “needed an MRI”, she wrote to my GP who referred me to the spinal unit and I was then sent for a spinal MRI. The Neuro referral only came up after the MRI but I was given a likely diagnosis by the neuro on the basis of the MRI.

I assumed I had a trapped nerve and actually, I’m quite relieved I didn’t spend weeks worryng it might have been something else. Even further down the line, my osteo said that MS was “my worst fear for you” so it wasn’t a given!

Good luck and try not to stress

Sonia x

No response on the planter reflex can be perfectly normal The nuero left a huge scratch on the sole of my foot to get mine to do anything which I was not too happy about

Hi Sonia,

yes I know I should leave it in their hands, its the look on their faces sometimes when they discover some things, thats worse than what they actually tell you! My right arm and leg have been a nightmare for such a long time now along with numerous other complaints, so many things have been blamed only to have them eventually ruled out. Frustrating at times…

Karen x

Hi Karen,

When they scrape the bottom of your foot your big toe should go down (negative result). If it goes up then the result is positive which usually means there is something wrong with your nervous system. It is known as the Babinski response. In MS the results are usually positive and the reflexes are usually over exagerated - as opposed to non-existent.

Hope this helps.

Moyna xxx

Thanks for that Moyna,

There seems to be an issue with my big toe on that foot as it tends to point up the majority of the time and doesnt want to lie flat, my reflexes were normal on left side but diminished on the right leg and arm, almost none on plantar, so if you are saying in MS they are over exagerated then that may mean a totally different diagnosis for me! Wish neuro appt would hurry up

Karen x

i got diagnosed in november i have no reflexes eithrt. i intend to discuss this further at my next neuro appointment]

Hi thanks for your comment Emfraserburgh, do you have lessions in your spine?

from what i have read an exaggerated reflex is more likely to indicate upper nueron damage whereas a diminished reflex is possible lower neuron damage. I know mine definitely were not normal, the physio said the areas where there were dimished reflexes coincided with muscle spasms i have been having. She was particularly concerned with my spine and my right leg went numb down the side after her assessment.

My spine never got MRI done just my brain as I had a ct scan which showed inflammation. The MRI showed leisons. On my brain. I asked if I would need a spine MRI the neuro said there was enough evidence to confirm ms between symptoms and brain MRI. My reflexes reappeared for 2 months before going AWOL again. They do what the want when the want but mine are normal or absent. I don’t really understand it. I had a second relapse a bad one in November my neuro brought her students to practice on since my reflexes are difficult to get a being a dancer I tend to tighten everything and don’t relax so I’m a neuros worst nightmare: xx

It all seems really confusing, strange they didnt want to investigate your spine too, so they at least know exactly what they are dealing with. How long have you ben having symptoms before you were diagnosed?

You’re a dancer too, wow what a diagnosis to get!

My son has had a brain condition since birth he is almost 19 now and has had lots of neurosurgery over the years. I thought he was a neuros worst nightmare as he was not ‘typical’ in any aspect, i know exactly what you mean about students being brought in, but at least because of the nature of his condition he was always treated on an emergency basis and he had an excellant neurologist, i guess in that respect we were really lucky.

I hope you get more answers soon from your neuro. xx