Your nerves are a key part of your nervous system, which sends signals between different parts of your body. It has 2 parts: the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system.
Your central nervous system is made up of your brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system is made up of the nerves outside of your brain and spinal cord. These are called peripheral nerves. They are long fibres that connect your brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body.
There are 3 types of peripheral nerves:
- sensory nerves – these carry signals such as pain from your body to your brain, eg, 'ouch, I am standing on a pin!'
- motor nerves – these carry the signal back from your brain to your muscles, eg, 'move your foot quickly and get off that pin!'
- autonomic nerves – these automatically control things like your heart beat, blood pressure and breathing, which means they happen by themselves without you needing to feel or do anything about them.
Damage to your nerves can interrupt the signals to and from your brain.