Nerve cells, or neurons, receive electrochemical signals, process them and transmit them to other cells. Most often, these are other neurons, but nerve cells signal muscle cells and other active cells of the body as well. Sensory nerve cells also react to their environments, sending signals to the central nervous system in response to changes.Know More
Nerve cells have four basic parts. Each has a branching series of receivers, called dendrites, that detect incoming nerve impulses or other changes to the environment. The cell body contains the nucleus and processes the stimulus to send out its own signal. This signal is sent out along the axon, a long, sometimes very long, extension of the cell that acts as a wire for the signal. The axon ends with what is known as the terminal bundle, which interacts with the next nerve cell in the chain.
Nerve cells transmit signals via a chain reaction of electron action potentials. Certain charged particles move in and out of the axon in a rapid chain reaction. This action is very fast, although not as fast as a normal electrical current traveling through a metal wire. However, to transmit coherently over a long distance, the axons need to be insulated like a wire. Myelin sheaths, made of cholesterol-type compounds, serve this purpose.Learn more about Nerves
The sciatic nerve begins in the lower portion of the spine, traces through the buttocks and down each leg, according to MedlinePlus. This nerve controls muscles at the knee and in the lower leg. It is responsible for feeling in the foot, lower leg and back of the thigh.Full Answer >
The first way to treat a pinched nerve is to rest the affected area, according to Mayo Clinic. Do not engage in any activity that aggravates the nerve. A splint or brace can also provide immediate relief.Full Answer >
The sciatic nerve is the primary nerve that runs down the back of the leg. It branches from the lower spine and runs the entire length of the leg and foot.Full Answer >
The vagal nerve belongs to the autonomous nervous system and aids in the regulation of involuntary bodily functions. It is more commonly known as the "vagus nerve" or "cranial nerve X."Full Answer >