Nerve Function and Your Health: Part 2
In part one of this three-part series, we focused on the neck area. In this article, we will be focusing on the mid- back, or the thoracic spine. The thoracic spine is made up of 12 vertebrae, the rib cage and surrounding tissues, which help to protect your major internal organs such as your heart, lungs, liver and kidneys.
The nerves exiting the thoracic spine area, referred to as T1-T12 nerves, are either sensory or motor in function. “Sensory nerves deliver information to your spinal cord from muscles and joints about your body position. They also transmit sensations such as touch, pressure, pain and temperature, which are experienced on the surface of your skin,” which associate with dermatomes. Dermatomes are areas on the body that relate to each particular spinal nerve.
“Motor nerves (motor neurons) pass information received from your brain through your spinal tracts to your skeletal muscles to direct precise voluntary movements. T1-T12 power the muscles that lie between the ribs (intercostal muscles). These also help you breathe by drawing the rib cage outwards and upwards, pulling the lungs in the same direction. The lungs expand, helping them fill with air.
The diaphragm and the intercostal muscles are your major breathing muscles. Your lower thoracic spinal nerves T6-T12 provide power to your abdominal muscles. These muscles help you cough and expel matter from your air passages. Abdominal muscles are also important in balance and posture. Your autonomic nervous system (ANS), which is part of the peripheral nervous system, consists of two divisions: Your parasympathetic and sympathetic nerves receive information from your brain down through your spinal cord. This information is then passed on to organs, glands and blood vessels.”
Damage to one of the thoracic nerves can cause various ailments and irritations, including:
T1 DAMAGE: Asthma, cough, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, pain in the lower arm and pain in the hands.
T2 DAMAGE: Functional heart conditions and chest conditions.
T3 DAMAGE: Bronchitis, pleurisy, pneumonia and congestion.
T4 DAMAGE: Gall bladder conditions, jaundice and shingles.
T5 DAMAGE: Liver conditions, fevers, low blood pressure, anemia, poor circulation and arthritis.
T6 DAMAGE: Stomach troubles, nervous stomach, indigestion, heartburn and dyspepsia.
T7 DAMAGE: Ulcers, and gastritis.
T8 DAMAGE: Low resistance to colds and disease.
T9 DAMAGE: Allergies and hives.
T10 DAMAGE: Kidney troubles, chronic tiredness and nephritis.
T11 DAMAGE: Acne, pimples and eczema.
T12 DAMAGE: Rheumatism and gas pain.
The spine is a wonderful, complex part of the body. When all of our body parts and tissues are communicating together at 100 percent, we can expect better health. Therefore, it’s important to maintain optimum health and visit a chiropractor to ensure that you do not have pinched or irritated nerves causing illness or ailments.
For more information, call Jensen Chiropractic at 775-232-1222.
- Spinalhub.com.au/what-si-a-spinal-cord-injury/what-happens-to-the- spinal-cord-after-injury/spinal-nerves-up-close