Heal Yourself At Home
GSE Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral Nervous System 101

Unlike the CNS, the PNS is not protected by the bone of spine and skull, or by the blood-brain-barrier, leaving it exposed to toxins and mechanical injuries

PNS nerves are either Motor or Sensory – determined by direction of nerve impulses

(i) Sensory/afferent neurons - relay nerve impulses toward the CNS. E.g. A touch or painful stimulus creates a sensation in the brain after information about the stimulus travels there via afferent nerve pathways.


(ii) Motor /efferent neurons - relay nerve impulses away from the CNS

Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)

PNS nerves are used for control of Somatic (Conscious/voluntary) or Autonomic (Subconscious/involuntary) functions

(i) Somatic (Conscious/voluntary control) nervous system (SNS) - includes all of the nerves that serve the skeletal muscles and the exterior sense organs, and also includes reflexes. Connects skeletal muscles with cells specialized to respond to sensations, such as touch and pain.

(ii) Autonomic(Generally subconscious control) nervous system (ANS) - motor and sensory neurons connecting the CNS with internal organs (E.g. heart), smooth muscle, glands.

✔ Sympathetic nervous system - mobilizes energy and resources during times of stress and arousal

✔ Parasympathetic nervous system - conserves energy and resources during relaxed states.

✔ Enteric nervous system - neurons directly control the digestive tract, pancreas, and gallbladder.

The PNS in humans comprises:

–   12 pairs of cranial nerves - emerge directly from the brain, sensory nerves, motor nerves, or mixed nerves. All of them control the head,face, neck, and shoulders, except the vagus nerve, which controls the internal organs.

–   31 pairs of spinal nerves - emerge from segments of the spinal cord; mixed nerves that take impulses to and from the spinal cord.

PNS Spinal nerves

PNS system body nerve areas


Complementary Parasympathetic and Sympathetic Functions


side bar
DISCLAIMER: The content on this website is intended for informational, and educational purposes only and not as a substitute for the medical advice, treatment or diagnosis of a licensed health professional. The author of this website is a researcher, not a health professional, and shall in no event be held liable to any party for any direct, indirect, special, incidental, punitive or other damages arising from any use of the content of this website. Any references to health benefits of specifically named products on this site are this website author's sole opinion and are not approved or supported by their manufacturers or distributors. COPYRIGHT 2009-2018