Spinal reflexes are actions that aren't caused by conscious movement that are caused by cells in the spinal cord. Spinal reflexes originate from the spine and bypass the brain entirely. Have you ever had a doctor check your reflexes by using a rubber hammer to hit your knee? And your knee jerking in response? This is called the patellar reflex and is an example of a spinal reflex. Spinal reflexes are very old mechanisms within the body and are believed to have originated so an organism could respond to dangerous stimuli without having to 'check' with the brain to see if the movement is ok. Spinal reflexes carry signals that require immediate attention such as being burned and other painful sensations.