The spinal cord is a long, fragile tubelike structure that begins at the end of the brain stem and continues down almost to the bottom of the spine. The spinal cord consists of bundles of nerve axons forming pathways that carry incoming and outgoing messages between the brain and the rest of the body.
Can you live with a damaged spinal cord?
Spinal cord injuries are unpredictable. Some survivors with catastrophic injuries spontaneously walk. Others undergo years of physical therapy just to move their fingers. A common theme is that survivors who work hard, embrace healthy living, protect their mental health, and never give up tend to have better outcomes.
Can the spinal cord repair itself?
Unlike tissue in the peripheral nervous system, that in the central nervous system (the spinal cord and brain) does not repair itself effectively.
What would happen if your spine was ripped out?
Injuries can range from relatively mild ligament and muscle strains, to fractures and dislocations of the bony vertebrae, to debilitating spinal cord damage. Depending on how severe your injury is, you may experience pain, difficulty walking, or be unable to move your arms or legs (paralysis).
Why is the spine so sensitive?
The receptors in our skin are not distributed in a uniform way around our bodies. Some places, such as our fingers and lips, have more touch receptors than other parts of our body, such as our backs. That is one reason why we are more sensitive to touch on our fingers and face than on our backs.
What part of the spine controls what part of the body?
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.
What protects the delicate spinal cord?
The spinal column — also known as the spine or backbone — protects the delicate nerve tissue of the spinal cord.
When does your spinal cord stop growing?
The cauda equina forms because the spinal cord stops growing in length at about age four, even though the vertebral column continues to lengthen until adulthood. This results in sacral spinal nerves originating in the upper lumbar region.
How long can you live with a spinal cord injury?
Individuals aged 60 years at the time of injury have a life expectancy of approximately 7.7 years (patients with high tetraplegia), 9.9 years (patients with low tetraplegia), and 12.8 years (patients with paraplegia).
What are the symptoms of spinal cord problem?
Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Disorder
- Weakness or paralysis of limbs.
- Loss of sensation.
- Changes in reflexes.
- Loss of urinary or bowel control.
- Uncontrolled muscle spasms.
- Back pain.