Spinal Cord Anatomy

Spinal Column: Also called your backbone, your spinal column is made up of 33 small bones called vertebrae that fit together and form a protective tunnel for your spinal cord.

Spinal Cord: Your spinal cord is really a large nerve that extends from your brain stem to just below your ribs. Its millions of nerve fibers carry signals to and from your brain to other parts of your body.

Discs: Between your vertebrae are discs made of a tough, crabmeat-like substance. These discs act as shock absorbers for your back and also help protect your spinal cord.

Spinal nerves: Thirty-one pairs of nerves coming off your spinal cord that transmit messages to and from your body.

Motor nerves: Nerves that carry impulses from your brain and spinal cord to your muscles, glands and other organs.

Sensory nerves: Nerves located in the skin and other sensory organs. These nerves receive stimuli and send impulses to your spinal cord and brain.

Vertebrae: Small bones with spiny projections that compose the backbone or spinal column.