The Pelvis

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The Small Pelvis

Aside from the brain and the spinal cord, no other part of the human body contains such a large number of important nerves as the small pelvis. Not only do pelvic nerves control key motion processes such as standing up, walking and maintaining balance but they also direct vesical and intestinal functions (filling and emptying) and sexual functions.

Signals from the brain to the pelvic nerves travel through the spinal cord, and return signals, such as perceptions of pain, are sent back to the brain through the same route. The same scheme applies to the so-called phantom pain that is produced by the brain when incoming signals are wrongly interpreted as pain emanating from an amputated limb.

The nerves, which form a tight nerve bundle within the spinal cord, separate at the level of the small pelvis and innervate different organs, such as the bladder, the intestines and the sexual organs. The small pelvis is also the only region traversed by the two main nerves of the lower limbs, the sciatic nerve and the femoral nerve, the latter being located at a depth of only a few centimetres.

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Nervus ilio-inguinalis,
Nervus iliohypogastricus,
Nervus lat. cutaneo-femoralis,
Nervus genitofemoralis