Post by Lαrα on Jul 2, 2014 5:14:04 GMT -8
In my continuous quest for knowledge and understanding about what is/has happened to our body and the nerves I thought i would takle the nervous system. I have avoided it somewhat because it has always looked complex and challenging but today is as good a day as any to take this on. So no i have to make sense of it, share what i learn and make it clear to understand lol
I love the image below because it makes clear sense of what job and responsibility lies with various levels of the Spinal Cord. I love how it is colour coded!
So we can see from looking at the diagram that the spinal cord is the control centre ( The central nervous system).
It has the very important role of carrying messages to and from the brain to parts of the body (known as the Peripheral Nervous System)
The Peripheral Nervous System is made up of two parts...
1.The somatic system:
This sends sensory information to the central nervous system through peripheral nerve fibres. Sensory means that it sends the information coming from all your senses, touch, vision, hearing, taste, smell and position.
It is also responsible for sending messages to motor nerve fibres to get the muscles to move parts of the body.
2.The Autonomic Nervous System
As we can see is shown on the diagram as the nerves that connect via the spinal cord to the heart, the lungs, stomach, intestines, bladder and sex organs.
This system is responsible for making sure that all the automatic things that your body needs to do to keep you going, like breathing, digesting etc continue working smoothly without your having to think about them.
When dysfunction occurs this natural function becomes affected. A spinal cord injury causes damage to nerves that lead to this nervous system so for those with injury at T5 and higher, it will be highly possible that they will experience additional problems such as Autonomic Dysreflexia/hyperreflexia
Body temperature may also become difficult to regulate causing dysfunction when nerves are damaged above this level, see Temperature regulation in Spinal Cord Injury
Therefor we can see now see how injury level to the spinal cord can cause damage nerves to significant nerves within the central nervous system..and then depending on the extent of damage and injury level further damage occurs to the Peripheral System.
For me personally, this helps me to understand why we can suffer differently with sensory function ( eg altered sensation/numb) to different degrees and why motor function is affected to different degrees too.
You may also be interested in this thread: The Unfixed Spinal Cord