The sacral plexus is one of the major nerve plexuses in the body.
A nerve plexus is the area where the nerves branch out and rejoin:
A nerve plexus is a system of connected nerve fibers that link spinal nerves with specific areas of the body. Fibers in a plexus connect the spinal cord and the body by grouping themselves into one larger nerve. The human body consists of several nerve plexuses, including the brachial plexus, the cervical plexus, the coccygeal plexus, the lumbar plexus, the sacral plexus, and the solar plexus.
. Although there are almost 100 nerve plexuses in the body, five are considered major. They include the sacral, cervical, brachial, solar, and lumbar plexus.
The cervical plexus services the shoulders, neck, and head. The brachial plexus provides nerves for the shoulders, chest, arms, and hands. The solar plexus provides sensory nerves for the internal organs, and the lumbar plexus provides nerves to the back, abdomen and lower body.
The sacral plexus is located in the back of the pelvis, and provides the nerves for the pelvic area, genitals, and buttocks. It also provides some of the nerves for the legs and feet. Since the sacral and lumbar plexus provide nerves for many of the same areas, they are often combined and called the lumbosacral plexus.
Due to the effect that the sacral nerves have on the lower body, an illness that affects the plexus can cause serious problems. There are several ways that the sacral region can develop problems, including injury, autoimmune responses, or cancer. Regardless of the cause, the symptoms are similar. There is typically weakness or pain as well as a loss of sensation in the lower body. The symptoms may affect the entire area serviced by the sacral plexus, or only parts of the area.
A diagnosis of problems with the sacral plexus is typically made when a physician notes that the affected body parts are all confined to the area serviced by the sacral plexus. An electromyography can confirm the diagnosis. The physician may then order a magnetic resonance imaging test (MRI) to determine the cause of the problem.The MRI will detect any tumors that may be pressing on the nerve bundles, causing problems.
MRI=Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses powerful magnetic fields and radio wave energy to take pictures of the inside of an object. This method of scanning was developed primarily for use in medicine as a way to take images of structures in a patient's body, but it also has been used to study objects such as fossils and historical artifacts. An MRI is able to provide images that give information that previous scanning technology, such as X-ray, computed tomography (CT) and ultrasound cannot.
Patients going through treatment for cancer are also at risk for damage to the sacral plexus due to injury caused by radiation therapy. The therapy, even when directed at other parts of the body, may damage the nerves of the sacral plexus. Diabetics with uncontrolled high blood sugar may also suffer from damage to the sacral plexus. In this case, treatment is possible by bringing blood sugar levels under control.
Blood sugar, also known as blood glucose, is the body’s fuel that feeds the brain, nervous system, and tissues. A healthy body makes glucose not only from ingested carbohydrates, but also from proteins and fats, and would not be able to function without it. Maintaining a balanced blood glucose level is essential to a body’s everyday performance.