nerve pain

By redorangedog Latest Activity December 27, 2017 at 2:01 pm Views 3,718 Likes 1


The human nervous system has a tremendous capacity to constantly relay vital messages throughout the body. If this complex system is damaged, nerve signals can go awry, causing intense pain.

See Pain Signals to the Brain from the Spine

The spinal cord is the main transportation hub of the body's central nervous system, carrying signals from the brain to nerves throughout the body. Nerves coming from and leading to all parts of the body enter and exit the spinal cord along its entire length.

Watch: Spine Anatomy Interactive Video

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The Spinal Cord and Peripheral Nerves

Thirty-one pairs of spinal nerves exit the spinal cord through openings between the vertebrae. The point at which a nerve exits the spinal cord is called a nerve root. The nerve root then branches out into many smaller peripheral nerves that control different parts of the body.

See Spinal Cord and Spinal Nerve Roots

Damage to any part of the central nervous system or peripheral nerves can cause neuropathic pain.

See Treatment Options for Neuropathic Pain

A nerve that exits the lower back has peripheral branches that extend all the way down to the toes. Peripheral nerves comprise the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nerves include both motor nerves and sensory nerves:

Sensory nerves are nerves that receive sensory stimuli, telling us how something feels—whether it is hot, cold, or painful. These nerves are made up of nerve fibers, called sensory fibers (mechanoreceptor fibers sense body movement and pressure against the body, and nociceptor fibers sense tissue injury).
Motor nerves lead to the muscles and stimulate movement. They are made up of nerve fibers called motor fibers.

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