How is the Spinal Cord Protected?

Our thoughts, movements, emotions and desires. Our breathing, heart rates, body temperatures and more—many of our anatomical functions are controlled and regulated by the central nervous system, which is made up of the spinal cord and the brain. The spinal cord houses the all-important nerves that transmit messages between the brain and the body.

As you can imagine, protecting the spinal cord is important. And even though we don’t have control over keeping it safe, our bodies are built to provide helpful safeguards.

How is the spinal cord protected?

Bones, discs, ligaments and muscles all work to protect the spinal cord. The spine is made of 33 bones called vertebrae, which have holes (spinal canals) through which the spinal cord passes. Between each vertebra, discs act as cushions; absorbing shock to the spine.

When spinal cord protection breaks down

When the protective vertebrae, ligaments or discs of the spinal column are damaged, spinal cord injuries occur. Things like sports injuries, accidents or falls can result in a sudden, traumatic blow to your spine that fractures, dislocates, crushes or compresses one or more of your vertebrae.

Nontraumatic damage to spinal column vertebrae, ligaments or discs can be caused by birth defects, arthritis, cancer, inflammation, infections or disk degeneration of the spine.

How spinal cord damage affects different parts the body

Within the spinal cord, there are several pathways, or tracts. The motor tracts promote the movement of the arms and legs. Damage to the motor tracts can result in weakness or being unable to move parts of the arms and legs below the level of damage.

The sensory tracts in the front part of the spinal cord allow sensation. Damage to sensory tracts can cause an inability to feel pain, or to experience hot and cold sensations below the level of damage. Damage to the back part of the spinal cord can result in being unable to feel how the arms or legs are positioned.

Advanced, nonsurgical pain relief, right here in Hattiesburg

Spinal cord damage or injury can cause debilitating back or leg pain; interrupting your daily activities at work and play. But pain from injury doesn’t have to rule your life. The team at The Pain Treatment Center is here to help you get out of pain with the advanced spinal cord stimulators in Hattiesburg. Using this nonsurgical treatment to mask pain signals before they make contact with the brain, our board-certified pain specialists can help you regain control over your pain, and your life.

To schedule an appointment, call 574-821-4363 or click here to use our online form.