Name of test

Brachioradialis reflex

What it tests

C6 nerve root

How to do it

With the patients forearm supported in a neutral position, allow the wrist to fall into ulnar deviation. Tap the radial aspect of the forearm 4 to 8 cm proximal to the radial styloid.

The normal response

2+ reflex. The examiner should see a visible contraction of the brachioradialis muscle. A quick upward motion of the forearm may also be seen.

What it means if not normal


The brachioradialis muscle is innervated by the radial nerve (C6).

The biceps brachii is innervated by the musculocutaneous nerve (C5, C6). The biceps reflex can also be tested when a C6 radiculopathy is suspected.

A C6 radiculopathy is the most common because the C5-C6 disk is the cervical disk most susceptible to herniation or degeneration.


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