The spinal cord runs through the back and is encased within the spinal column. The cord works by transmitting messages that start in the brain to the rest of the body. The cord is protected by 33 bones, known as vertebrae, which is the spinal column. The vertebrae are stacked on top of the each other and have holes in the center, which is where the spinal cord runs through.
In-between the vertebrae, you will find discs of cartilage. It is here where the spinal cord is vulnerable and where most injuries occur. The spinal cord has segments which indicate where spinal nerves are located. Within C1 to C8, known as the Cervical Spinal Nerves, you have the nerves that signal the back of the head, neck, and shoulders, as well as the arms and hands and diaphragm. If this area is injured, these areas of the body will be affected.
T1 to T12 is the Thoracic Spinal Nerves, an area that controls the chest muscle signals, areas of the abdomen and specific back muscles. L1 to L5 is the Lumbar Spinal Nerves, where the back and lower abdomen are controlled as well as the legs, buttocks, and sections of the genital organs. If these sections are injured, the associated body parts are also affected.
S1 to S5 is known as the Sacral Spinal Nerves, which controls the brain signals to the feet and the lower portion of the legs plus the thighs along with external genital organs. There is also a Single Coccygeal Nerve that controls the sensory information that transmits from the skin of the lower back.
When your spinal cord is injured, the injury can be mild to extremely severe. The most severe cases usually come from a car accident, which may be no fault of your own. When you or a loved one have been affected by a spinal injury that was the result of someone else’s negligence, give our office a call.