A spinal nerve is a mixed nerve, which carries motor, sensory, and autonomic signals between the spinal cord and the body.

There are 31 pairs of spinal nerves, one on each side of the human vertebral column.

These are grouped into the corresponding regions of the spinal column namely cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral and coccygeal.

There are eight pairs of cervical nerves, twelve pairs of thoracic nerves, five pairs of lumbar nerve roots, five pairs of sacral nerves, and one pair of coccygeal nerves. The spinal nerves are part of the peripheral nervous system.

A posterior root ganglion (or spinal ganglion) (also known as a dorsal root ganglion), is a cluster of nerve cell bodies (a ganglion) in a posterior root of a spinal nerve.

Meningeal branches of the spinal nerves, see Recurrent meningeal nerves.

Cervical spinal nerve

C1-C6 Neck flexors

C1-T1 Neck extensors

C3, C4, C5 Supply diaphragm (mostly C4)

C5, C6 Shoulder movement, raise arm (deltoid); flexion of elbow (biceps); C6 externally rotates the arm (supinates)

C6, C7 Extends elbow and wrist (triceps and wrist extensors); pronates wrist

C7, T1 Flexes wrist

C7, T1 Supply small muscles of the hand

T1 -T6 Intercostals and trunk above the waist

T7-L1 Abdominal muscles

L1, L2, L3, L4 Thigh flexion

L2, L3, L4 Thigh adduction

L4, L5, S1 Thigh abduction

L5, S1, S2 Extension of leg at the hip (gluteus maximus)

L2, L3, L4 Extension of leg at the knee (quadriceps femoris)

L4, L5, S1, S2 Flexion of leg at the knee (hamstrings)

L4, L5, S1 Dorsiflexion of foot (tibialis anterior)

L4, L5, S1 Extension of toes

L5 (Fifth lumbar nerve), S1, S2 Plantar flexion of foot

L5, S1, S2 Flexion of toes

see sacral spinal nerve.


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