Games of Bones Episode 4: The Meninges

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By Dr. Tim Pence

Menindgees. From ancient Greek meninx, singular membrane. The meninges are collectively the three layered membranes that envelope the brain, brain stem, and spinal cord. The outer layer is the dura, the middle is the arachnoid, and the inner layer is the pia. A primary function of the meninges is to protect the central nervous system. It helps form a blood/brain barrier. lt has been discovered that the meninges also serve as an ELASTIC STABILIZER OF THE SPINAL COLUMN. For structural purposes, consider that the meninges act as a rubber tube attaching at the tailbone running upward through the central canal into the skull becoming like a balloon around the brain.

Thus, while the meninges are not bones, they are an important part of any discussion regarding spinal alignment and body posture. The outer layer attaches firmly to the inside of the cranial and facial bones and especially around the rim of the foramen magnum (the large hole that the brain stem slips through at the base of the skull). Further down the spinal column the dura is attached to the spinal vertebrae by small elastic ligaments that suspend the spinal cord within the spinal canal, sorta like bungie cords. Because of this anatomical arrangement we are able to move our spine and joints without undue stress or tension placed upon the underlying central nervous system.

Of importance to note, the brain, brain stem, spinal cord, spinal column, pelvis, and meninges act as a singular synchronized functional unit. They all work together and at the same time. An abnormal or traumatic event within one area automatically and simultaneously results in an abnormal/suboptimal reaction throughout the entire functional unit.

At the FUTURE DOC Practice the above mentioned is always kept in mind. Regardless of a patient’s primary complaint, the entire spinal and related systems are evaluated. Often, the primary alignment problem isn’t where the patient is having symptoms. Likewise, successfully finding and correcting the primary problem will often have multiple and distant, seemingly unrelated benefits.

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and the cause and prevention of disease.” —Thomas A. Edison (1847-1931)