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Valtrex (Valacyclovir)

I should say that the chief of the original functions of the fluid is that of protection. The pressure due to any swelling in the central nervous system by means of this fluid can be distributed over the whole area rather than concentrated dangerously at any one point. Nothing in the whole body is more carefully protected than the brain and cord. The skull makes a very strong bony case and even if it is broken, that is not necessarily serious. It is what happens to the soft parts within that counts. I would say that the spinal cord is even more carefully protected. The “backbone,” as we call the whole bony combination, has twenty-four vertebrae as well as the sacrum and coccyx at the bottom. The resulting great number of joints allows it to give, rather than break, but each joint normally gives but a mighty small distance.
The vertebrae lock firmly together. Their powerful ligaments imbed them in great masses of gristle. The whole is reinforced by the muscles of the back, most powerful in the body. Could you have this demonstrated to you, I do not see how you could help being skeptical of the “manipulators” who find that your physical ills are due to the displacement of these vertebrae and who put them back in place. We physicians do occasionally see dislocated vertebrae, usually in the neck after severe accidents. They are pretty apt to result in paralysis if not death.
The powerful unyielding protecting walls not infrequently are a disadvantage. If a tumor or bleeding or other condition causes increase of bulk, the rigid walls allow no room for swelling and increased pressure results. The delicate nervous tissue can stand little of this and the results may be disastrous.
One distressing result of this lack of spare space has received much publicity of late years. That is the pain and disability usually in the lower back but at times in the neck associated with a “slipped disk.” Between each pair of vertebrae is a mass of spongy springy material which cushions shocks and allows guarded movements. Sometimes this ruptures and pushes into the spinal canal. But a nerve is always present on either side between the vertebrae, and space is limited. The displaced material therefore causes pressure on the nerve and resulting pain. Surgical removal of the disk is often necessary, although this is far from being always the case.
Perhaps the most striking thing about the nervous system is its lack of the power of regeneration. Destroy a nerve cell and it is gone forever and no other will take its place. However, the nerve fiber may be injured somewhere along its course. All the part thus separated from the body of the cell will waste away. But from the point of injury the wounded cell may slowly push out fresh fiber. Even this re-growth compares poorly with what we get in other tissue. Surgeons cut many tissues which in a few weeks may be as good as new. If they cut across a nerve fiber, the function of that nerve is lost for many months. Nervous tissue also is delicate and easily injured. That is why the brain and spinal cord are protected as no other parts of the body are.
This system is the great regulator of the body. Even the endocrine system, whose importance is so recognized now, is said to be dominated by the pituitary and this latter is lorded over by a part of the brain. Once it is necessary to activate the body, the nervous system is in command.

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