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What is a nerve plexus?
Areas/groups of spinal nerves that intersect and generally serve the same region.
ex: Phrenic nerve
Function: innervates diaphragm, therefore its function is essential for breathing and life
Application: Spinal cord injuries to neck are often lethal due to this issue
Brachial plexus: C5-T1 Supplies upper limb and some of shoulder and neck.
ex. Median nerve
Function: innervates forearm flexor muscles
Application: If muscles in neck are too tight, this can get compressed and cause a tingling sensation in hands when something is lifted over the head.
Lumbar plexus: L1-L4 Innervates abdominal wall, anterior thigh, and genitalia.
ex. Femoral nerve
Function: Innervate muscles of anterior compartment of thigh
Application: Damage can lead to loss of knee extension, loss of patellar reflex
Sacral plexus: L4-S5 Innervates remainder of lower trunk and lower limb
ex. Sciatic nerve
Function: Innervates back of thigh, lower leg, and supplies sensation for these areas as well as the foot.
Application: pressure on the nerve causes sciatica, inflammation of the nerve resulting in sharp pain