Massage Ramifications of the Anatomy and Physiology of the Spinal Cord
Massage General Courses

Massage Ramifications of the Anatomy and Physiology of the Spinal Cord

Author(s): Andrew J. Kuntzman, Ph.D., LMT

4CE credits 14 Lessons Text

Explore the nervous system,with an emphasis on the spine, how it relates to muscles and the practice of massage therapy. Review basic anatomy and physiology of the spinal cord and nerves. 

Note: Much of this article has been abstracted from portions of Kuntzman A. Tortora G. Anatomy and Physiology for the Manual Therapies. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: New York, 2010.

Learn about aspects of the nervous system, particularly the spine, as they relate to muscles and the practice of massage therapy. When you finish this course you will be able to:

  • Understand, through knowledge of nerve physiology, how massage therapy affects the functioning of the nervous system and its control of muscles.
  • List six general effects of massage therapy on nervous tissue.
  • Describe the processes of communication and repair in the CNS and PNS.
  • List the areas in the body supported by plexuses and intercostals nerves.
  • Describe the results of injuries to the brachial plexus and four other types of injuries common to nerves.
  • Describe two ways the spinal cord promotes homeostasis.
  • Describe the roles of muscle spindles and tendon organs.
  • List three common sites of injury to the spinal cord and the effects of transections.

  1. The Nervous System
  2. Structures and Function of the Nervous System
  3. Organization of the Nervous System
  4. Regeneration and Repair of Nervous Tissue
  5. The Spinal Cord
  6. Spinal Nerves
  7. Distribution of Spinal Nerves—Branches and Plexuses
  8. Injuries to Nerves of the Brachial Plexus
  9. L1-S5 Plexuses and Spinal Tap
  10. Other Injuries or Conditions
  11. The Spinal Cord and Nerve Impulses
  12. Muscle Spindles and Tendon Organs
  13. The Spinal Cord and Integration
  14. Traumatic Injuries of the Spinal Cord

Andrew J. Kuntzman, Ph.D., LMT, has taught collegiate-level anatomy and physiology courses for 49 years and earned his doctorate in human anatomy in 1970.