Do you assess prone extension and supine flexion Part 4
Written by Cheri Dotterer
Over the past several weeks, we have discussed primitive reflexes and touched on some neuroanatomy. Prone extension and supine flexion are the postures that we have been reflecting on. Last week we discussed the impact of the Landau Reflex on muscle tone. This week let’s dive into the Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex (TLR). Remember, the word tonic is an active potential followed by a movement.
The TLR kicks in when students go into flexion or extension. This reflex causes hyper movements. That means, the extension is like a back bend, often on the head rather than using arms. Flexion pulls them into a fetal position.
Have you ever seen a baby or toddler throwing a temper tantrum and they arch their back to an extreme? Their head and feet are the only body parts touching the ground. That is the TLR.
Since these babies spend time in these extreme positions, they have difficulty developing good balance and visual perception.
According to Harald Blomberg, MD, these students lose balance with head extension. They have difficulty playing games like soccer or lacrosse. The have difficulty climbing and tend to be toe walkers. They also cross their eyes. Playground equipment and copying from the board with kick these students right out of their chair and onto the floor due to the hyperextension. Convergence and divergence of the eyes with be difficulty. Hence, reading and writing will be delayed.
Exercises like the cat pose will help students break free from this reflex holding them captive so that they can access their education. Before reading, have the whole calls do the cat pose next to their desk. Encourage slow, rhythmic transfer from head up to head down position.
Brain Gym elephant pose done with back arched and arms toward ceiling followed by bending forward toward floor is an alternative exercise.
Blomberg, recommended slow, rhythmic, alternative movements done daily to integrate reflexes.
More information: https://www.brmtusa.com/tonic-labyrinth-reflex-tlr