The Spine is the Armor and Protection of the Spinal Cord and Nerves
The spinal cord is a column of millions of nerve fibers that run through your spinal canal. It extends from the brain to the area between the end of your first lumbar vertebra and top of your second lumbar vertebra. At the second lumbar vertebra, the spinal cord divides into several groups of fibers that form the nerves that will go to the lower half of the body. For a small distance, the nerves actually travel through the spinal canal before exiting out the neural foramen. This collection of nerves is called the cauda equina, while it is still inside the spinal canal.
The nerve fibers in your spinal cord branch off to form pairs of nerve roots that travel through the small openings (foramina) between your vertebrae. The nerves in each area of the spinal cord connect to specific parts of your body. Therefore, damage to the spinal cord can cause paralysis in certain areas and not others – it depends on which spinal nerves are affected.
Paralysis is an extreme example of a spine injury, but millions of people suffer from spine related dysfunctions because of abnormal alignment and motion of the spine itself.
When the spinal column becomes dysfunctional, the quality of information being transmitted from the brain to the body is diminished.
Eventually, this diminished nerve talk is going to cause problems down stream affecting muscles, organs and organ systems.
The nerves of the cervical spine go to the upper chest and arms. The nerves in your thoracic spine go to your chest and abdomen. The nerves of the lumbar spine then reach to your legs, bowel, and bladder. These nerves coordinate and control all the body’s organs and parts, and let you control your muscles.
The nerves also carry electrical signals back to the brain that allow you to feel sensations. If your body is being hurt, your nerves signal the brain that you have been hurt. Damage to the nerves themselves can cause pain, tingling, or numbness in the area where the nerve travels.