Full Superficial Nerves of the Leg and Foot (Posterior View) Description
[Continued from above] . . . body.
Some of the impulses are sent from various parts of the brain and spinal cord; some come from sense organs located in the joints, ligaments, and tendons; and some come from the muscles themselves. For instance, the sciatic nerves, the largest and longest nerves in the body, descend into the buttock and into the thighs to supply nerve impulses to and from the muscles and skin in the hip joints and thighs, the lower legs, feet and most of the skin below the knee. This interplay is continuous and elaborate - sight, sound, smell, pressure and pain are all important, but so are messages bringing information about the angles and position of joints, the length and tension of muscles, or even the speed of movements so that through the interaction of the nervous system with the muscles of the lower extremities, balance may be maintained.
The average nerve running from the base of the spine to the tip of a toe is about three feet long. This includes a major neural transmission network within the legs that produces contractions of groups of muscles and is responsible for larger muscular functions, such as running, walking or swimming. Finer nerve bundles command the many small bones of the toes to create the constant, subtle shifting of the feet that keeps us from falling down.