Back Problems - Your Spinal Column and Nervous System

Your nervous system is the center of your thoughts, memory, learning and consciousness. Nerves control muscle tension, blood vessel openings, glandular function, spatial orientation (proprioception), pain, touch, vibration, vision, hearing, taste, temperature and other senses. Nerves connect your inner and outer worlds.

                                                                                                                 It houses and protects your spinal cord, 
supports your hips and shoulders,
serves as an attachment to your muscles, 
and  supports your head and ribs.

Your Spine
Your spine consists of 24 vertebrae plus your sacrum and coccyx.

 The first of your seven cervical (neck) vertebrae (C1), called the "atlas," holds the globe of the skull, as the god Atlas held up the earth. Your second (C2), the "axis," permits head turning and tilting. Cervical vertebrae (C3 through C7) continue through the neck.

  Your 12 thoracic (mid-back) vertebrae (T1 through T12) all connect to the ribs in the back, and all but two (T11 and T12, which "float") join the sternum (breastbone) in front.

  Your five lumbar (lower back) vertebrae are the biggest, thickest and most massive vertebrae. These support the weight of your entire spine, which is why so many spinal problems are in the lower back (lumbar) area.

  Your sacrum is made up of five fused vertebrae. The sacrum and the hips on either side make up your pelvis. Your coccyx, four fused vertebrae, makes up what is commonly referred to as your tailbone.

C1 - Blood supply to the head, pituitary gland, scalp, bones of the face, brain, inner and middle ear, sympathetic nervous system
C2 - Eyes, optic nerves, auditory nerves, sinuses, mastoid bones, tongue, forehead, heart
C3 - Cheeks, outer ear, face, bones, teeth, trifacial nerve, lungs
C4 - Nose, lips, mouth, eustachian tube, mucus membranes, lungs
C5 - Vocal cords, neck glands, pharynx
C6 - Neck muscles, shoulders, tonsils
C7 - Thyroid gland, bursa in the shoulders, elbows

T1- Arms from the elbows down, including hands, arms, wrists and fingers; esophagus and trachea; heart
T2 - Heart, including its valves and covering; coronary arteries; lungs; bronchial tubes
T3 - Lungs, bronchial tubes, pleura, chest, breast, heart
T4 - Gallbladder, common duct, heart, lungs, bronchial tubes

T5 - Liver, solar plexus, circulation (general), heart, esophagus, stomach
T6 - Stomach, esophagus, peritoneum, duodenum
T7 - Pancreas, duodenum, stomach, liver, spleen, gallbladder, peritoneum
T8 - Spleen, stomach, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, adrenal cortex, small intestine, pyloric valve
T9 - Adrenal cortex, pancreas, spleen, gallbladder, ovaries, uterus, small intestine
 T10 - Kidneys, appendix, testes, ovaries, uterus, adrenal cortex, spleen, pancreas, large intestine
T11 - Kidneys, ureters, large intestine, urinary bladder, adrenal medulla, adrenal cortex, uterus, ovaries, ileocecal valve
T12 - Small intestine, lymph circulation, large intestine, urinary bladder, uterus, kidneys, ileocecal valve

L1 - Large intestine, inguinal rings, uterus
L2 - Appendix, abdomen, upper leg, urinary bladder
L3 - Sex organs, uterus, bladder, knees, prostate, large intestine
L4 - Prostate gland, muscles of the lower back, sciatic nerve
L5 - Lower legs, ankles, feet, prostate
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