The Human Spine

The Functions of the Vertabrae in the Spinal Column > the spinal column and back pain > human spine

Divisions of Spinal Segments

Segmental Spinal Cord Level and Function
C1-C6Neck flexors
C1-T1Neck extensors
C3, C4, C5Supply diaphragm (mostly C4)
C5, C6Shoulder movement, raise arm (deltoid); flexion of elbow (biceps);
C6 externally rotates the arm (supinates)
C6, C7Extends elbow and wrist (triceps and wrist extensors); pronates wrist
C7, T1 Flexes wrist
C7, T1Supply small muscles of the hand
T1 -T6 Intercostals and trunk above the waist
T7-L1Abdominal muscles
L1, L2, L3, L4Thigh flexion
L2, L3, L4Thigh adduction
L4, L5, S1Thigh abduction
L5, S1, S2Extension of leg at the hip (gluteus maximus)
L2, L3, L4Extension of leg at the knee (quadriceps femoris)
L4, L5, S1, S2Flexion of leg at the knee (hamstrings)
L4, L5, S1Dorsiflexion of foot (tibialis anterior)
L4, L5, S1 Extension of toes
L5, S1, S2 Plantar flexion of foot
L5, S1, S2Flexion of toes

(Source: Wikpedia)

The more we use our brains, the better they brains function regardless of age, and the more we stay active the better our brain work and the stronger our bodies become. This can be extremely important as we age.

Falls account for 87 percent of fractures in people over 65, they are the second leading cause of injury to the spinal cord and brain in this age group and hip fractures are one of the leading causes of death in the elderly. In fact nearly 60 percent of deaths from falls are people aged 65 years or older.

Balance and gait impairment account for 71 percent of falls, a low body-mass index and general frailty and hazards in the home are also important contributory factors.

It goes without saying then that exercise is necessary as we age in order to strengthen our muscles, oxygenate our brains and improve our balance and gait. This alone will help to prevent the majority of falls as we age, falls that can lead to paralysis, disability and even death.

Osteoporosis screening for women over age 65 is another preventative measure that some health authorities are adopting in order to keep bones strong and protect the elderly from premature disability. Click on the text below to:

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