Text-Book of Osteopathy
American College of Mechano-Therapy
The Spinal Column is divided, for convenience sake,
into six divisions: The Cervical, Brachial. Dorsal, Lumbar, Sacral and
Coccygeal. The cervical embraces the four upper vertebrae; the brachial,
the three lower cervical and first dorsal the dorsal, the first dorsal
and including the twelfth the lumbar, the five lumbar vertebrae; the sacral,
all of the sacrum; and the coccygeal, the last set of ganglia on the inner
side of the coccyx.
The atlas is directly concerned with disturbances
to the vaso-motors of the eye and ear, and with diseases of the face.
The axis and third cervical is a general vasomotor
center, through the superior cervical ganglion. It is a center for the
side of the head, face, eye, nose, pharynx, tonsils and vessels of the
The third, fourth and fifth cervical is the center
for hiccoughs, as it is the origin of the phrenics.
The middle cervical ganglion is situated at the
fifth and sixth cervicals, and is the center for the thyroid gland. It
also augments the heart action.
The second to sixth dorsal are vaso-constrictors
to the pulmonary blood vessels.
The third to seventh dorsal are vaso-motors to the
arms, through the brachial plexus.
The heart, thyroid gland, inferior cervical ganglion,
the vertebral and basilar arteries are supplied and controlled by the center
of the seventh cervical and first dorsal.
The fibres augmenting the heart action come from
the second, third, fourth and fifth dorsal. The first three control the
regularity of the rhythm, while the fourth and fifth give regularity and
strength to the beat.
The stomach center is located at the fourth dorsal
on the right side.
The center for the ciliary muscle is found at the
second and third dorsal. This is also the center for vomiting and for the
bronchial tubes and bronchi.
The origin of the great splanchnic is between the
sixth and tenth dorsal. The inhibitory, vasoconstrictor and secretary fibres
are distributed to the stomach and small intestines.
The center for the liver is found between the eighth,
ninth and tenth dorsal on the right side.
The center for the spleen is at the ninth and tenth
dorsal on the left side. This is also the center for the uterus, through
the hypogastric plexus.
The small intestine, kidney and ovary are controlled
by the center in the eleventh and twelfth dorsal.
The second lumbar contains the center for parturition,
micturition and the uterus.
The center for diarrhea is situated at the second,
third and fourth lumbar.
The pelvic plexus is formed by the separation of
the hypogastric plexus into two halves on either side of the rectum. The
center is located at the fourth and fifth lumbar. The fibres are distributed
to the pelvic organs.
The anterior divisions of the sacral nerves are
distributed to the rectum, bladder, sphincter ani, vagina and uterus.
The second and third sacral center controls the
bladder; the fourth sacral, the vagina; and the fourth and fifth sacral,
the sphincter ani.
Landmarks - The following landmarks are of
importance in locating certain structures.
The sixth cervical spine will be found at the commencement
of the esophagus and opposite the cricoid cartilage.
The seventh cervical spine is on a level with the
apexes of the lungs.
The eighth thoracic spine is opposite the lowest
level of the heart and the central tendon of the diaphragm.
The ninth thoracic spine is on a level with the
cardiac opening of the stomach.
The lowest level of the lungs is found opposite
the tenth thoracic spine.
The eleventh thoracic spine marks the level of the
lower border of the spleen and upper border of the right kidney.
The renal vessels and pelvis of the kidney are on
a level with the first lumbar spine.
The second lumbar spine is opposite the third portion
of the duodenum and receptaculum chyli.
The third lumbar spine lies just above the umbilicus.
The fourth lumbar spine marks the bifurcation of
the aorta and the crests of the ilium.
The junction of the first and second part of the
rectum takes place at about the end of the coccyx.
In order to apply the treatment intelligently and
to understand the lesions properly, it is necessary to know where the principal
spinal nerves are located and their origin.
ORIGIN OF THE SPINAL NERVES
The eight cervical nerves arise from the spinal
cord above the level of the sixth cervical vertebra; the upper six
dorsal, between the levels of the sixth cervical and fourth dorsal
vertebrae; the lower six dorsal, between the fourth and eleventh
dorsal vertebrae; the five lumbar, between the levels of the eleventh
and twelfth thoracic vertebrae; and the sacral, between the 1st
dorsal and first lumbar vertebrae.