The spinal cord is a vital part of your body. It helps you to move, feel, think and even breathe. Without it, life would be very different indeed.
Although we’ve all got spinal cords, most of us don’t really know that much about what purpose they serve and how they function, so here are a few interesting facts that will make you a bit of an expert on this particular biological feature!
The Spinal Cord Manages Muscle Movements
Your spinal cord is responsible for managing all the muscles in your body. It sends messages through nerve cells that tell them when to contract or relax so that you can move around freely.
Without this important network of nerves connecting your brain with your muscles, it would be impossible for you to do anything physical – such as walking, lifting heavy objects, dancing or typing.
It Also Facilitates Your Senses
The spine also serves another important purpose: allowing us to experience our environment around us by sending sensory information from our peripheral nerves back up into our brains where we can process them accordingly.
This allows us to identify what’s happening around us, whether that’s differences in temperature detected by our skin, or even pain felt when we are hurt.
Without this delicate network of neurons running along the length of the spine, we’d be less alert to dangers, and more susceptible to getting injured. It can of course be the source of pain itself, although back complaints can be alleviated with the right approach.
Spinal Injuries Can Result In Paralysis
Speaking of injuries, if enough damage is sustained by your spine during an accident, it could lead not only muscle weakness but even full-on paralysis, depending on how much nerve tissue was damaged in that particular area. Having a free legal consultation and case evaluation with a spinal cord injury lawyer will let you know whether it’s worth making a claim in such a scenario.
This underscores why taking care while performing risky activities, and wearing protective gear (especially when engaging in contact sports) is essential preventative measure against long-term health risks associated with any spinal injuries.
Autonomic Functions Are Made Possible By The Spinal Cord
The autonomic functions within humans, such systems controlling blood pressure, respiration rates, and even body temperature, are made possible thanks largely due various neural pathways located within the spin.
All of these involuntary processes occur uninterruptedly throughout life because our spinal cord is there to take charge of the things that keep us ticking over.
If we didn’t have our spines to rely on, then our brain power would be seriously monopolized by all sorts of functions that we otherwise take for granted.
Our Understanding Of The Spinal Cord Has Changed Throughout History
The way we understand the spinal cord has shifted significantly over time. Prior to the 19th century, it was believed that all physical movement was controlled by our muscles and not our nervous system. It wasn’t until later that scientists began to uncover how important neurons were in controlling muscle movements, thus revealing the importance of our spine.
Since then, many advances have been made in unpicking this vital part of human anatomy. Most recently there’s the emergence of regenerative medicine, which could potentially repair damaged nerve cells within vertebrae itself. This means we could eventually develop treatment options for people suffering from paralysis due to injuries sustained by their spines.
There’s still much left to discover about the mysterious and vital role that the spinal cord plays, and as research continues to push boundaries, expect to see some incredible breakthroughs in the near future that reconfigure our understanding even further.