4. Performing a Neurological Assessment to Check Spinal Cord Function: Dermatomes, Myotomes, and Reflexes
Normal nerve impulse control and innervation is important for healthy function of the spinal cord and brain. The treating clinician must have a good understanding of the components of a comprehensive neurofunctional examination to determine this status for a patient. In addition to determining level of consciousness and verbal responses, the clinician must be able to demonstrate how to evaluate motor responses such as muscle strength, muscle tone, posture, reflexes, movement, sensation, and coordination. This chapter will present a quick overview of how to perform a simple motor and sensory examination to determine optimal spinal cord function.