Forum

Reflexes

I finally saw my GP again yesterday after a 5 month period. He gave me a referral to a neuro, but only because I demanded it, and I’d taken my husband along for back-up. Even though he knows I’ve been getting paraesthesia and numbness for almost three years now, he seemed very keen to put my problems with my arm down to a trapped nerve. I felt that he wanted to discount everything that went before, or didn’t relate to my arm, and was quite happy to treat me with ibuprofen. One thing that I wanted to ask others on the forum concerns reflexes. My reflexes seem to be highly reactive (ie: not lessened in the arm I have problems with), and I get the feeling that the GP thought that this was a good thing. Can anyone help me to understand this?

Thanks

Astro

I am glad that you have got a referral. Quite honestly, I think the best thing for you to do now is to sit back and let the thing play itself out without trying to second-guess what your GP thinks of your reflexes or anything else.

One thing to say about GPs - they are well aware that common things (like a peripheral trapped nerve) are much more common than uncommon things (like some ghastly CNS foul-up - MS, for instance). That sounds too obvious to be worth mentioning, but it is actually an important point. So your GP’s reluctance to refer does not mean that he/she isn’t taking you seriously - it is just that he/she knows from experience that there probably isn’t much to worry about. I hope that this turns out to be the case for you.

Alison

Thanks Alison. I guess when you go for a long period without any clear idea of what’s happening it becomes second nature to want to understand more. You’re right, though, I should wait and see what the neuro says.

Overactive reflexes are a sign that there is a problem with the spinal cord. Underactive ones tend to point to peripheral neuropathy.

Moyna xxx

Hi Moyna.

I think he was seeing the fact that I didn’t have a difference between left and right arms (both very reactive), as evidence that this was probably just a trapped nerve. To be honest the appointment with the doc yesterday left me feeling a mixture of annoyance, frustration and also self-doubt. The neuro consult isn’t for two months yet so I’ll have time to get over the negative feelings. Thanks for your feedback on the reflexes, though, even if all this stuff is completely mind-boggling.

Astro