Illustration copyright 2002 by Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. http://www.nucleusinc.com
The spinal cord is a soft bundle of nerves that extends from the base of the brain to the lower back. It runs through the spinal canal and is protected by the bones of the spine (vertebrae). Messages between the brain and the nerve roots travel up and down the spinal cord, making it possible for the brain and body to communicate. The discs cushion the vertebrae and provide flexibility to the spine and spinal cord.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineRobert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics