The spinal cord itself is one of the bodies' most important systems, vital to the transfer of neural signals between the brain and the rest of the body. What many people forget is that the spinal system itself consists not just of lumbar vertebrae, but also major components of the central nervous system. It is divided into 31 different parts, segmented into three main sections - "upper back", "mid back" and "lower back". This is important to note because each one of these 31 parts controls various sensations in the body through spinal nerves. In addition to the nerves, there are major arteries running through the back as well, including the left and right posterior arteries.
But, let's focus on the nerves that run through the spine for a moment, because in most cases where an injury is involved to the spine, that is where they occur. The upper section of nerves in the spine, called cervical spinal nerves, exit through the various openings in the bones or vertebrae. Each vertebra has a numbered location, with those in the cervical area being labeled C-1 through C-7. The middle section, or thoracic spine, are labeled T-1 through T-12. In the lower back, the lumbar vertebrae are represented by L-1 through L-5. Each nerve exiting these areas control different pathways in the body, and in turn, injuring any one of them could cause sensations to occur in different areas.
For example, the L-4 and L-5 lumbar spinal nerves control the pathways that end up reaching the toes and the foot. So, if you are involved in say a car accident where this part of your back has been injured, that could lead to further pain running down into your feet and toes. Even though the toes themselves where not subject to trauma, it is the damaged nerves leading from the spine which will cause them to feel this way. The nature of the injury depends entirely on whether the spinal cord and nerve root itself were damaged and the subsequent inflammation that occurs.
Typically, in today's age spinal cord injures are usually suffered in motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, and slip & falls. Damaged nerves can lead to a loss of sensation, weakened muscles, a "buzzing" electrified feeling in affected areas, or even paralysis.
Frequently, insurance companies will delay spinal cord treatment to seek a cheaper option. Time is of the essence, especially when a nerve itself has been damaged, and the quicker it is acted upon, the higher the chances are for a successful recovery. That's why it's very important that, if you have suffered a spinal cord injury, you contact a qualified attorney who can make sure you are getting the proper treatment needed.