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The Central Nervous System

Updated: Jan 4

Did you know that issues in your back have ripple effects on completely different parts of your body?How can a pain in your back lead to urinary incontinence?


This is because our spine houses the central nervous system! This system coordinates everything from your bowel movements to blood circulation. Let’s break down the central nervous system to understand its function.


Brain to Spine, to the Rest of the Body


Your brain is located in your cranium, which sits atop your spine. It sends signals down the spinal cord to the rest of the body through spinal nerves that branch out into nerve roots. Nothing happens in your body without a message running from your brain through your nervous system. Your bodily processes are the result of the sophisticated coordination between your brain and spine.



The brain and spine are connected through spinal nerves. The spinal cord is often known as the “superhighway” of the nervous system!


Disruptions to this connection disrupts bodily processes. Spinal vertebrae, which surround and protect our spinal nerves, can get misaligned and interfere with nervous signal transmission. The same goes for spinal cord injury. Stress—physical, chemical (poor diets) and psychological (anxiety, fear and anger)—cause the spinal muscles to tense up, disturbing the alignment of the spine and irritating the nerve. The result is a chain reaction of distorted nervous signals that mess with other bodily processes.


Usually, you may feel some discomfort, aching or tightness in your back. Your central nervous system is telling you that something is wrong! Pain is our body’s emergency alarm, which also means a lot more is happening underneath—for example, the organs that the disrupted nerves feed could be malfunctioning from inadequate nerve supply!


Feeling vs Function


Body pain is not always enough as an indicator of wellness. Physical sensations in our bodies are generated by sensory nerves, which only make up a small part of our central nervous system. What you feel is thus a very small percentage of what is actually happening in your body.


Our emotions can be inaccurate at times. So do our physical feelings—pain is often the last symptom of a bodily issue! Relying on physical sensations to determine wellness is thus not always reliable, as it could be too late by the time you figure out the problem. Instead, it is important to pay attention to overall bodily function, which includes two other components: your motor and autonomic nerves. In short, pay attention to the entirety of your central nervous system.



A key list of symptoms to watch out for by component. Source: https://www.arborvitaechiropractic.com/blog/2018/6/15/what-is-the-difference-between-feeling-and-function


Your motor nerves deal with your motor function and muscular system. If you feel weakness, spasms or motor dysfunction, this could be an indicator of an issue, even without pain.


Your autonomic nerves deal with your internal bodily functions such as digestion, breathing and circulation. Indigestion, breathing problems and sinus allergies may also suggest that something isn’t right.


You can preliminarily gauge this by looking at your overall sensory, motor and autonomic function. Do you observe something wrong in any of these components? Do you notice any abnormalities even if you don’t “feel” or physically “sense” any issues? Simply feeling good does not mean everything is alright. All aspects of your central nervous system should be taken into account—after all, it is the centre of your bodily activity.



Indigestion is one warning sign that not all may be right with the nervous system! Of course, this should be considered in addition to a whole host of other factors. The best option is to seek professional help in times of doubt.


Are my judgments accurate? What do I do if I suspect a problem?


Besides looking out for the symptoms suggested above, the best way to assess the state of your health is, of course, to seek professional help. Due to the intimate relationship between spinal wellness and the central nervous system, a chiropractor is well-qualified to help you with your issues.


Through the restoration of strength and mobility to your spine, chiropractic care gets to the root of your issues by directly resolving disruptions to the central nervous system. Chiropractic adjustment breaks up scar tissue, creating healthy nerve flows which stimulate recovery. Normal spinal motion is a requirement for normal brain function, as proven in this MRI study.


If you have any questions, schedule an appointment with us by calling us at 62084669 or dropping us an email wecare@mychirocare.sg!




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