Related Terms and Definitions, Spinal Cord

Autonomic Nervous System:a component of the peripheral nervous system that operates without conscious control as the caretaker of the body. It has two subparts: the sympathetic nervous system, and the parasympathetic nervous system. The Sympathetic Nervous System has an excitatory affect, and

Central Nervous System: the portion of the nervous system consisting of the brain and the spinal cord, which, acting together, serve as the communicating and coordinating system of the body, carrying information to the brain and relaying instructions from the brain.

Herniated Disc:also known as a herniated nucleus pulposus or a slipped or ruptured disc, it is a condition in which part or all of the soft, gelatinous central portion of an intervertebral disk is forced through a weakened part of the disk, resulting in back pain and leg pain caused by nerve root irritation. A disk injury may demand extensive surgery and ongoing medical treatment, possibly requiring you to have a laminectomy for disk repair, a diskectomy to remove a portion of the herniated disk, or a fusion of your vertebrae.

Nerve:a cordlike structure, composed of delicate filaments by which impulses are transmitted between different parts and organs of the body and the central nervous system.

Nerve compression:although a compressed or pinched nerve cause temporary back pain, often described as radiating, it can also cause more serious injuries, including loss of the use of your limbs, of the ability to breathe without a respirator, or of bladder or bowel control. Nerve compression can also impact sexual functioning and, in extreme cases, cause total paralysis.
Paralysis: the loss or impairment of motor functioning in a part of the body, due to damage to the nervous system. Central paralysis, as opposed to peripheral paralysis, occurs when the patient experiences a loss of movement of a limb as a whole, rather than loss of movement of the individual muscles.

Paraplegia:impairment or loss of motor or sensory function in areas of the body served by the thoracic, lumbar, or sacral segments of the spinal cord. Depending on the level, it may involve the trunk, pelvic organs, or lower limbns.

Parasympathic Nervous System:a component of the autonomic nervous system that prevents the body’s processes from accelerating to extremes. It causes the discharge of secretions that slow the heartbeat and lung action, restore digestive functioning and limit the constriction of the blood vessels.

Paresthesias:abnormal sensations or tactile hallucinations, such as burning, prickling or formication.

Peripheral Nervous System:Motor and sensory nerves outside the central nervous system, which is subdivided into the voluntary and autonomic nervous systems.

Quadriplegia:impairment or loss of motor or sensory functions in all four limbs, the trunk, and pelvic organs.

Spinal stenosis:also known as sciatica the narrowing of thelumbar or cervical spinal canal, which causes compression of the nerve roots.

Sympathetic Nervous System:a component of the autonomic nervous system that has an excitatory effect, and in response to danger or a challenge, almost instantly puts the body’s processes into high hear.

Voluntary Nervous System:a component of the peripheral nervous system that includes both motor and sensory nerves, controls the muscles, and carries information to the brain.

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