reciprocal innervation

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

re·cip·ro·cal in·ner·va·tion

contraction in a muscle is accompanied by a loss of tone or by relaxation in the antagonistic muscle.
Synonym(s): reciprocal inhibition (1)

reciprocal innervation

Innervation of muscles, as around a joint, in which contraction of one set of muscles leads to the relaxation of opposing muscles.
See also: innervation

reciprocal innervation

The reduction in nerve impulses to the antagonists of muscles that are contracting to cause movement.


1. the distribution or supply of nerves to a part.
2. the supply of nervous energy or of nerve stimulation sent to a part.

reciprocal innervation
the innervation of antagonistic muscles such that when one muscle is excited its antagonist is inhibited.