The purpose of Spinal Galant Reflex is not fully understood, however, it is believed to assist in the birthing process and also in development of crawling. To test for the Galant reflex you place your baby/child on their tummy exposing the skin on their back. To elicit the reflex simply stroke down your baby/child’s back on one side of the spine, from the shoulder blades to the top of pelvis and then repeat on the other side. If you see the muscles on the same side of the back contract and/or bending towards the side tested this is a positive response, the reflex is present. The Spinal Galant Reflex should be integrated by 12 months of age, when this reflex hasn’t integrated properly it can result in the child not being able to sit still and may also be implicated in the development of scoliosis.
A different – but related reflex, called the Perez Reflex, can be elicited by stroking both sides of the back simultaneously, if positive this will cause urination. Needless to say bedwetting may be a sign that this reflex is present.
If you notice that your baby doesn’t have an appropriate response to these reflexes – or your child still has them past the time when they should have integrated, it would be a good idea for them to be assessed. If you would like more information please call us at Infinite Healthcare Randwick, on 02 8084 2420.