The intercostal nerves are part of the somatic nervous system, and arise from anterior divisions (rami anteriores; ventral divisions) of the thoracic spinal nerves from T1 to T11. The intercostal nerves are distributed chiefly to the thoracic pleura and abdominal peritoneum and differ from the anterior divisions of the other spinal nerves in that each pursues an independent course without plexus formation.
The first two nerves supply fibers to the upper limb in addition to their thoracic branches; the next four are limited in their distribution to the parietes of the thorax; the lower five supply the parietes of the thorax and abdomen. The 7th intercostal nerve terminates at the xyphoid process, at the lower end of the sternum. The 10th intercostal nerve terminates at the umbilicus. The twelfth (subcostal) thoracic is distributed to the abdominal wall and groin.
Unlike the nerves from the autonomic nervous system that innervate the visceral pleura of the thoracic cavity, the intercostal nerves arise from the somatic nervous system. This enables them to control the contraction of muscles, as well as provide specific sensory information regarding the skin and parietal pleura. This explains why damage to the internal wall of the thoracic cavity can be felt as a sharp pain localized in the injured region. Damage to the visceral pleura is experienced an an un-localized ache.
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... The parietal pleura is attached to the wall of the thoracic cavity and innervated by the intercostal nerves and phrenic nerve ... pleura lines the inner aspect of the ribs and intervening intercostal muscles, being separated from them by endothoracic fascia ... This part of the parietal pleura is innervated by the intercostal nerves ...
... obliques Muscle Origin Insertion Artery Nerve Action Antagonist external oblique Lower 8 costae Crista iliaca, ligamentum inguinale intercostal ... intercostal nerves T8, T9, T10, T11, subcostal nerve (T12), iliohypogastric nerve, ilioinguinal nerve Compresses abdomen and rotates vertebral column ... Muscle Origin Insertion Artery Nerve Action Antagonist transversus abdominis ribs and the iliac crest inserts into the pubic tubercle via the conjoint tendon, also known as ...
... Nervous system Intercostal spaces, viewed from the left Brachial plexus Brachial plexus with courses of spinal nerves shown ...
... Muscle Origin Insertion Artery Nerve Action Antagonist intercostales ribs 1-11 ribs 2-12 intercostal arteries intercostal nerves Muscle Origin Insertion Artery Nerve Action ...
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