Understanding The Spinal Cord And Spinal Anatomy

The brain and the spinal cord are two of the most crucial parts of the body, and they influence the functioning of other systems that are linked to them to a significant extent. One can also say that the spinal cord is an extension of the brain which helps in the effective communication of various signals and impulses to the brain. 

In this article, we shall specifically talk about the spinal cord region related to how it plays an important role and understanding the spinal anatomy

Spinal cord

Before we process to understand what is spinal anatomy, it is important to know what exactly the spinal cord is. 

The spinal cord is a thin and long tubular structure that is made of several novice tissues. The spinal cord starts from the medulla oblongata of the brain and goes to the lower back region. The spinal cord also contains cerebrospinal fluid that helps in transporting various impulses to the brain and vice versa. 

The spinal cord is referred to as one of the most sensitive areas of the body. Hence, it is advised to avoid indexing in activities that can result in damage to the cord. Damage in the spinal cord can affect the sensory and motor abilities of the body to a significant extent. 

Role of the spinal cord

The spinal cord provides for a variety of functions. 

Firstly, it helps in facilitating the motor functions or voluntary muscle movements that happened in our body. The brain sends a signal through the spinal cord to various limbs related to the movement expected in a particular situation. 

Another crucial duty performed by the spinal cord is sensory functions. Our body’s reactions to different sensations such as pressure, touch, temperature, and pain are controlled by the spinal cord. 

The spinal cord is also responsible for functions that happen automatically in our body. These functions include the digestive system, body temperature, expansion and contraction of blood vessels, managing the heart rate and excretory system. 

Spinal anatomy

The spinal cord may appear to be a simple structure, but it is a much complex figure than it looks. 

The spinal cord has 33 bones called vertebrae. It is divided into five sections, namely the cervical, thoracic, lumbar spine section, coccyx, and sacrum bones. 

The cervical section consists of the top seven vertebrae in the spinal cord, namely C1 to C7. These bones are connected to the base of the skull. The above 2 vertebrae are also known by the name of Atlas and axis as they form the connection between the spinal cord and the skull. These bones play an important role in the mobility of the neck. Moreover, they also play a role in the protection of the spinal cord, arteries, and nose that travel all around the body. 

The next comes the thoracic section. This section is located near the chest level and between the lumbar vertebrae and cervical vertebrae. The bones that fall in this category are labeled as t1 to t12 and perform as an attachment to the rib cage of the body. 

The lumber section can be found between the sacrum and thoracic vertebrae. There are 5 bones labeled in the section from L1 to L5 and they bear the majority of the weight of the spinal cord. 

Then comes the sacrum that is situated at the base of the cord and has five levels from S1 to S5. The sacrum extends to the pelvis area. 

Lastly comes the coccyx. It is the base of the spinal cord and consists of only four vertebrae that are fused. 

The spinal cord and its functions are quite were to understand that requires intense research and study to get a graph of its functioning.