Dr. Alex Jimenez, El Paso's Chiropractor
I hope you have enjoyed our blog posts on various health, nutritional and injury related topics. Please don't hesitate in calling us or myself if you have questions when the need to seek care arises. Call the office or myself. Office 915-850-0900 - Cell 915-540-8444 Great Regards. Dr. J

Self-Defense System of The Spine El Paso, Texas

With so much at stake, our bodies have developed a complex self-defense system to protect the spinal cord and its critical two-way sensory information flow. As the body’s nerve center the spinal cord controls almost all voluntary and involuntary movements throughout the torso, arms, and legs. It also receives sensory input from the torso and limbs. The spinal cord plays a critical role and needs to be defended. The most prominent protection for the brain is the skull, for the spinal cord, it is more complicated.

Self Defense

 

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 The Self-Defense System of The Spine El Paso, Texas

The spinal cord consists of a bunch of nerves. One of the self-defenses is the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that cushions and nourishes them. On the outside, the spinal cord is protected by the tube structure known as the meninges. Three-layered membranes make up the meninges, each with its own protective role:

  • Pia mater
  • Arachnoid mater
  • Dura mater

Self-defenses do not stop there. Another self-defense includes the vertebrae or the backbones themselves, intervertebral discs, and various muscles and ligaments.

Meninges

The meninges are three layers of membranes that encapsulate the spinal cord at the brainstem from the top to the bottom of the spine. The innermost layer is the pia mater and is attached directly to the spinal cord. It is made up of mostly collagen that has an elasticity that allows the cord to maintain its shape. Next comes the arachnoid mater and is the middle layer.

Its primary role is to maintain the cerebrospinal fluid that fills the subarachnoid space between the pia and the arachnoid. A common condition known as arachnoiditis involves the arachnoid mater. It is a painful inflammation of the membrane that requires medical treatment. It can lead to disability if it is progressive.

Dura Mater

The outer layer is the dura mater and is the toughest. The dura rests on the arachnoid with a small amount of fluid in-between. The epidural space separates this membrane from the wall of the vertebral canal. Although it is tough, tears can occur. Tears can result from:

  • Injury
  • Epidural injections
  • Lumbar punctures
  • Complications from spine surgery

Some individuals can even develop tears spontaneously, sometimes as a result of a connective tissue disorder. When the dura tears cerebrospinal fluid leaks out of the space, leaving the brain and spine with less cushion and support.

Postural headaches are worse standing than sitting or laying down and can be severe are the most common symptom of spinal fluid leaks. But these tears typically heal quickly with bed rest.

Cerebrospinal Fluid

 

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 The Self-Defense System of The Spine El Paso, Texas

 

Cerebrospinal fluid is the clear liquid that fills the space between the pia and the arachnoid. It is made in the brain’s ventricles with its primary function to protect and nourish the spinal cord and brain. The fluid also removes waste products from the brain. The fluid also plays a role in helping doctors diagnose disease/s.

If a doctor suspects a severe infection or disorder of the central nervous system, they perform a lumbar puncture or spinal tap. The fluid can also contain evidence of inflammation or infection from waste products that the central nervous system discarded into the fluid. A doctor inserts a needle between two vertebrae in the lower back to remove a small amount of cerebrospinal fluid. The fluid is sent to the lab and analyzed. Lumbar punctures can be used to diagnose conditions like:

  • Infectious brain and spinal diseases like meningitis and encephalitis
  • Nervous system disorders like multiple sclerosis and Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • Bleeding in/around the brain
  • Brain tumors

To see how the fluid is moving diagnostic images are done by injecting dye know as myelography or radioactive substances known as cisternography into the subarachnoid space before imaging. Lumbar punctures can also be used to measure the pressure of the cerebrospinal fluid.

Vertebrae

There are 33 bones that make up the spine that forms a framework shaping the body and protecting the spine. In a healthy spine, the neck vertebrae curve slightly inward called lordosis, while the middle vertebrae curves outward called kyphosis before meeting the low vertebrae curved inward. This makes the spinal cord flexible and balanced.

Each vertebra has a complex shape with a precise configuration determined by the location in the spine. Many conditions of the vertebrae involve nerves that get pinched/compressed as they exit the spine. Pinched nerves usually result from bone spurs on the vertebrae that crowd the canal and from herniated discs.

 

Intervertebral Discs

 

 

The intervertebral discs are the spine’s shock absorbers. They fill the space between two vertebrae with no direct contact. The endplates of each are coated with protective cartilage which anchors the discs in place. The gel substance part of each disc is called the nucleus pulposus. The tough cover known as the annulus fibrosus wraps around each disc to protect and shape it. There are no blood vessels in the discs and are nourished by the endplates of the vertebrae.

Herniated discs are the most common disc-related condition. When a disc herniates, the annulus fibrosus tears. The tear leaks out the protective gel to bulge out into the spinal canal. With no room in the canal for anything but the spinal cord and spinal fluid, the gel puts pressure on the surrounding nerve/s and the spinal cord itself. This is called myelopathy when the spinal cord gets compressed. Non-surgical treatments are quite successful in healing herniated disc/s.

The spine’s self-defense is elaborate, effective, and complicated. Consult an experienced spine specialist/chiropractor who can produce the best results and benefits.


 

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Our Purpose & Passions: I am a Doctor of Chiropractic specializing in progressive, cutting-edge therapies and functional rehabilitation procedures focused on clinical physiology, total health, practical strength training, and complete conditioning. We focus on restoring normal body functions after neck, back, spinal and soft tissue injuries.

We use Specialized Chiropractic Protocols, Wellness Programs, Functional & Integrative Nutrition, Agility & Mobility Fitness Training and Rehabilitation Systems for all ages.

As an extension to effective rehabilitation, we too offer our patients, disabled veterans, athletes, young and elder a diverse portfolio of strength equipment, high-performance exercises and advanced agility treatment options. We have teamed up with the cities premier doctors, therapist and trainers to provide high-level competitive athletes the possibilities to push themselves to their highest abilities within our facilities.

We’ve been blessed to use our methods with thousands of El Pasoans over the last three decades allowing us to restore our patients’ health and fitness while implementing researched non-surgical methods and functional wellness programs.

Our programs are natural and use the body’s ability to achieve specific measured goals, rather than introducing harmful chemicals, controversial hormone replacement, un-wanted surgeries, or addictive drugs. We want you to live a functional life that is fulfilled with more energy, a positive attitude, better sleep, and less pain. Our goal is to ultimately empower our patients to maintain the healthiest way of living.

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EL PASO LOCATIONS

Central:
6440 Gateway East, Ste B
Phone: 915-850-0900

East Side:
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste 128
Phone: 915-412-6677

Clinic Location 1

Address: 11860 Vista Del Sol Dr Suite 128
El Paso, TX 79936
Phone
: (915) 412-6677
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El Paso, TX 79905
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Address: 1700 N Zaragoza Rd # 117
El Paso, TX 79936
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El Paso, TX 79905
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