There are two grasping reflexes. The Plantar Grasp involves the feet and Palmar Grasp involves the hands.
What can you observe in the new born?
Stroking or pressing the ball of the foot will cause the foot and toes to curl inwards as if trying to grasp whatever it is that’s pressing on the foot. The reflex involves the foot muscles and is important in starting gross motor movements in the infant. Once a child stands and walks, this reflex can get in the way if it hasn’t integrated.
When should it integrate?
It usually completely integrates between four and six months of age. It can reappear if a person injures themselves in the lower limb.
What happens if it’s still there after about six months of age?
- It’s been reported that feet and legs can feel “disconnected” from the rest of the body.
- Some children curl their toes under when you try to put shoes their feet. That’s a retained plantar reflex.
- For people with foot, ankle or shin issues, a retained plantar reflex may interfere with normal balance and walking patterns.