Why are the cervical and lumbar regions of the spinal cord enlarged?

Why are lumbar vertebrae larger than cervical?

Lumbar Spine

The size and shape of each lumbar vertebra is designed to carry most of the body’s weight. Each structural element of a lumbar vertebra is bigger, wider and broader than similar components in the cervical and thoracic regions.

Why is the lumbar region enlarged?

The lumbar enlargement of the spinal cord corresponds to the mild increase in cross sectional area of the cord from the T11 level to the conus medullaris. It is enlarged due to the presence of the spinal nerve anterior rami which contribute to the lumbar and sacral plexuses.

Where are the cervical and lumbar enlargements?

Two enlargements of the spinal cord can be visualized: The cervical enlargement, which extends between C3 to T1; and the lumbar enlargements which extends between L1 to S2 (Figure 3.1).

What causes enlarged spinal cord?

The causes of spinal cord compression include the following: Certain degenerative diseases, such as arthritis, can lead to spinal cord compression. A ruptured disk may lead to spinal cord compression. Injury to the spinal cord or the area around the cord can lead to swelling, which can cause compression.

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Which spinal nerves affect which parts 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 is the function of the lumbar enlargement?

The lumbar enlargement gives attachment to the nerves which supply the lower limbs. It commences about the level of the ninth thoracic vertebra, and reaches its maximum circumference, of about 33 mm, opposite the last thoracic vertebra, below which it tapers rapidly into the conus medullaris.

Why is the spinal cord enlarged in two regions?

Two regions of the spinal cord are enlarged to accommodate the greater number of nerve cells and connections needed to process information related to the upper and lower limbs (see Figure 1.10B).

What nerves emerge just below the lumbar enlargement?

Autonomic preganglionic neurons are concentrated in two intermediolateral columns running down the thoracic cord into the first few lumbar segments (sympathetic) and in the segments immediately below the lumbar enlargement (parasympathetic).

What is the cause of cervical enlargement?

As the spinal cord is shorter in length than the vertebral column, it extends from the C3 to T1/T2 vertebral levels, its greatest circumference (approximately 38 mm) at the C6 level. The cervical enlargement is a result of the increased volume of motor cells in the ventral horns of the grey matter.

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How many pairs of spinal nerves do humans have?

In total, there are 31 pairs of spinal nerves, grouped regionally by spinal region. More specifically, there are eight cervical nerve pairs (C1-C8), twelve thoracic nerve pairs (T1-T12), five lumbar nerve pairs (L1-L5), and a single coccygeal nerve pair.

How can I reduce inflammation in my spine?

Try these tips to reduce inflammation and improve the outlook of ankylosing spondylitis.

  1. Take your medications as directed. …
  2. If you smoke tobacco, quit. …
  3. Include good fats in your diet. …
  4. Avoid high-heat cooking. …
  5. Try using anti-inflammatory spices. …
  6. Do low-impact extension exercises. …
  7. Use heat or cold therapy.

Can you recover from spinal cord compression?

Your doctor might not be able to give you a prognosis right away. Recovery, if it occurs, usually relates to the severity and level of the injury. The fastest rate of recovery is often seen in the first six months, but some people make small improvements for up to 1 to 2 years.