April 1, 2019

What Does the Spinal Cord Do?

You’ve probably heard about your spinal cord before. This part of your body is massively important, which is why you should know what it does! Read on to discover the role it plays in your daily life.

A Hub of Activity

Your central nervous system is comprised of your brain and spinal cord. These two body parts work together to make the rest of your body function properly. The brain sends out signals, which are transmitted to the appropriate places by the spinal cord. Your spinal cord also transmits signals back to the brain, which keeps you in touch with the external world.

Going off of your central nervous system is the peripheral nervous system. Visualize a large tree when you think of this. On each side of the spinal cord are networks of nerve strands branching out from the center. They run through the openings between the vertebra of your spine. These nerves run through your body, as well, delivering information to and from the brain. They’re split up into five categories, based on the sections of your spine.

A Superhighway for Your Body

If you’re still a little confused as to how major of a factor your spinal cord is in your day-to-day life, consider the following. Your spinal cord controls your body’s voluntary movements and helps you sense where your arms and legs are. It allows you to feel things, including pressure and pain. When you feel the burn from a hot stove, that’s your spinal cord at work. If your phone vibrates in your pocket, you know it’s happening because of your spinal cord.

It also assists with things called “autonomic functions,” things you don’t have to actively think about in order to maintain. These are things like digestion, body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. Urges to go to the bathroom happen because of the spinal cord, too.

The spinal cord and the network of nerves that make this all happen are quite powerful. However, they’re also very fragile. Any damage done to these parts can cause serious problems. That’s why it’s crucial to pay attention to any aches, pains, or other complications that may arise.

Now that you know how the spinal cord works in your body, it’s easy to see why keeping it healthy is so important. If you think there may be an issue with your spinal cord, contact Mid Atlantic Orthopedic Associates today.

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