Master Sympathetics I with Picmonic for Medicine

With Picmonic, facts become pictures. We've taken what the science shows - image mnemonics work - but we've boosted the effectiveness by building and associating memorable characters, interesting audio stories, and built-in quizzing.

DOWNLOAD PDF
Sympathetics I

Recommended Picmonics

picmonic thumbnail
Somatic Dysfunction
picmonic thumbnail
Facilitation
picmonic thumbnail
Fryette's Principles of Spinal Motion
picmonic thumbnail
Parasympathetics
picmonic thumbnail
Sympathetics II

Sympathetics I

Simba-lion
Picmonic
The sympathetic nervous system originates from the thoracic and lumbar regions of the spinal cord and is high yield for the COMLEX. The superior most portion of the thorax is T1 and the sympathetic segments extend all the way down to L3. Understanding the relationship between the autonomic nervous system and the musculoskeletal system is important because many ailments are caused or worsened by reflexes between the two. Osteopathic manipulative treatment directed at the sympathetics is intended to interrupt reflex cycles and normalize sympathetic tone.
10 KEY FACTS
ABOVE THE DIAPHRAGM
T1-4 Head and Neck
Tea (1) Wand - (4) Fork on Head and Neck

Most of the sympathetic input to the head and neck originates from the T1-T4 spinal segments. This sympathetic input can decrease secretion from various glands and cause mydriasis.

T1-5 Heart
Tea (1) Wand - (5) Hand on Heart

The sympathetic innervation of the heart originates from the spinal segments T1-T5, therefore viscerosomatic and somatovisceral reflexes that occur will be in this region. Sympathetic input causes increased heart rate and contractility.

T2-7 Respiratory System
Tea (2) Tutu - Lucky (7) Slot-machine on Lungs

The sympathetic innervation of the respiratory system originates from the spinal segments T2-T7. Activation of these nerves causes bronchodilation via smooth muscle relaxation.

T2-8 Esophagus
Tea (2) Tutu - (8) Ball on Sarcophagus

The sympathetic innervation of the esophagus originates from the spinal segments T2-T8. A person with acid reflux, for example, can be expected to have somatic dysfunction in these segments.

EXTREMITIES
T2-8 Arms
Tea (2) Tutu - (8) Ball on Arms

The sympathetic innervation of the upper extremity originates from the T2-T8 spinal cord. Upper extremity problems, such as fracture, infection, or sprain/strain, can cause reflex somatic dysfunction at these levels.

T11-L2 Legs
Tea (11) Double-wand - Lion (2) Tutu on Legs

The sympathetic innervation of the lower extremity originates from the T11-L2 level of the spinal cord. Injuries and diseases affecting the lower extremities, such as cellulitis, sprain, or fracture, can cause somatic dysfunction in these segments.

GASTROINTESTINAL
T5-9 Upper GI Tract
Tea (5) Hand to (9) Lives-cat on Upper-class GI-guy

The sympathetic innervation of the upper GI tract, the embryological foregut, corresponds with spinal segments T5-T9. This proximal part of the gastrointestinal tract begins with the stomach and includes parts of the duodenum and pancreas. Innervation is routed through the celiac ganglion. Diseases such as gastritis, pancreatitis, and celiac may manifest somatic findings in the T5-T9 area.

T10-11 Middle GI Tract
Tea (10) Tin - Double (1) Wands on Middle-ages GI-Guy

The sympathetic innervation of the middle GI tract, the embryological midgut, corresponds with spinal segments T10-T11. The middle portion of the gastrointestinal tract includes the distal aspect of the duodenum and pancreas. It also includes the jejunum, ileum, and portions of the large intestine including the ascending colon and proximal 2/3rds of the transverse colon. Innervation goes through the superior mesenteric ganglion. Diseases such as Crohn’s affecting the terminal ileum may cause somatic dysfunction in T10-T11.

T10-12 Appendix/Cecum
Tea (10) Tin - (12) Dozen on Appendix-pen

The sympathetic innervation of the appendix originates at the spinal segments T10-T12. It also has a Chapman’s point at the tip of the twelfth rib.

T12-L2 Lower GI Tract
Tea (12) Dozen - Lion (2) Tutu on Low-class GI-guy

The sympathetic innervation of the lower GI tract, the embryological hindgut, corresponds with spinal segments T12-L2. This most distal part of the GI tract begins at the distal 1/3rd of the transverse colon and includes the descending colon, the sigmoid colon and the rectum. Innervation goes through the inferior mesenteric ganglion. Diseases such as diverticulitis can cause viscerosomatic reflex at these levels.

DOWNLOAD PDF

Take the Sympathetics I Quiz

Picmonic's rapid review multiple-choice quiz allows you to assess your knowledge.

It's worth every penny

Our Story Mnemonics Increase Mastery and Retention

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Unforgettable characters with concise but impactful videos (2-4 min each)

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Ace Your Medicine (MD/DO) Classes & Exams with Picmonic:

Over 1,400,000 students use Picmonic’s picture mnemonics to improve knowledge, retention, and exam performance.

Choose the #1 Medicine (MD/DO) student study app.

Picmonic for Medicine (MD/DO) covers information that is relevant to your entire Medicine (MD/DO) education. Whether you’re studying for your classes or getting ready to conquer the USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2 CK, COMLEX Level 1, or COMLEX Level 2, we’re here to help.

Works better than traditional Medicine (MD/DO) flashcards.

Research shows that students who use Picmonic see a 331% improvement in memory retention and a 50% improvement in test scores.