Some more about spines from the Chiropractors at Precision Health Spine & Sports Clinic
So, last week we learned all about the bones in the spine. Along with keeping us upright and allowing us to move, our spine protects one of the most important and delicate systems of the body – the central nervous system. Without it, we could not function.
So, how do the nerves in and around our spine work?
The spinal cord runs from the brain, between the vertebrae and the vertebral foramina, ending around the top of the lumbar spine – around T12 or L1. This cord houses the nerves of the spine. There are 31 segments in the spinal column that broadly coincide with the vertebrae. The center of the spinal cord contains grey matter – much like the brain. Many of our involuntary reflexes are made here rather than the brain.
The key nerve structure running through the spine is the Central Nervous System. These nerves, which connect to the brain, also connect to the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), which serves all our internal organs, and the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS), which as you might expect, extends down our limbs to our hands and feet. These nerves spread in the spinal cord like the roots of a tree.
Unlike some other nerves, spinal nerves contain both sensory and motor neurons. This means that messages pass both ways along these nerves – travelling both to and from the CNS and the brain.
Since the nerves run through the spinal column, which sits protected between two bony structures, you can imagine what happens when one of these bony structures, or the discs in between is not properly aligned, or is damaged.
As you can see, spinal health and good posture are essential to the optimum performance of the entire body – even our organs! And it is never too late to start taking care of it.
In our next and final installment on spines we will talk about all the muscles and ligaments that surround the spine, and how the help keep us upright and moving.
If you have any questions about your spinal health and how Chiropractic can help you, Precision Health Spine & Sports Clinic are always happy to hear from you.