Proprioceptive Spinal Reflexes
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The Hoffman (H) reflex is a proprioceptive spinal reflex produced by activation of Ia afferents originating in the plantar foot muscle that travel to the spinal cord via the tibial nerve.
Stimulation of the tibial nerve, which also contains plantar motor neuron efferents, first results in direct activation of the plantar muscle (M-response), followed by the reflex activation of the motoneurons and secondary muscle response (H-reflex). The ratio of H/M response amplitude has been used as a measure of spinal excitability
Stimulation of the tibial nerve at the ankle results in a short-latency M-response in the plantar foot muscle followed by an H-response approximately 7 msec later.