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General Practice 2023

Kernig, Brudzinski and Lasègue signs: what they are and what they are for

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Kernig, Brudzinski and Lasègue signs: what they are and what they are for
Kernig, Brudzinski and Lasègue signs: what they are and what they are for
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The signs of Kernig, Brudzinski and Lasègue are signals that the body gives when certain movements are performed, which allow the detection of meningitis and, therefore, are used by he alth professionals to assist in the diagnosis of the disease.

Meningitis is characterized by a severe inflammation of the meninges, which are membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord, which can be caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites, leading to symptoms such as intense headache, fever, nausea and stiff neck. Know how to identify the symptoms of meningitis.

How to detect meningeal signs

Meningeal signs should be investigated by a he alth professional, being performed as follows:

1. Kernig's sign

With the person in the supine position (lying on the back), the he althcare professional holds the patient's thigh, flexing it over the hip and then stretching it upwards, while the other remains stretched and then do the same with the other leg.

If in the movement in which the leg is stretched upwards, there is an involuntary flexion of the head or the person feels pain or limitations to perform this movement, it may mean that they have meningitis.

2. Brudzinski's sign

Also with the person in the supine position, with arms and legs stretched out, the he alth professional should place one hand on the chest and with the other try to flex the person's head towards the chest.

If involuntary flexion of the legs occurs when performing this movement and, in some cases, pain, it may mean that the person has meningitis, which is due to nerve compression caused by the disease.

3. Lasègue's sign

With the person in the supine position and the arms and legs stretched out, the he alth professional performs the flexion of the thigh over the pelvis, The sign is positive if the person feels pain in the posterior aspect of the limb being examined (behind the leg).

These signs are positive to certain movements, due to the inflammatory processes characteristic of meningitis, which lead to the occurrence of spasms of the paravertebral muscles, being, therefore, a good means of diagnosis. In addition to looking for these signs, the doctor also evaluates the symptoms present and reported by the person, such as headache, neck stiffness, sensitivity to the sun, fever, nausea and vomiting.

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