The Spinal Cord

Understanding SCI

The Spinal Cord

spinal_cord_bThe spinal cord exits the brain at the brain stem and travels down the middle of the skeletal column down to the 1st and 2nd vertebrae.

At this point hair-like nerves form a tail and spread through the lumbar and sacral region. This is called the Cauda equina (horse tail).

There is a specific, but uncommon, condition known as Cauda Equina syndrome. If this applies to you, you can find out more by viewing/downloading this patient leaflet

31 spinal nerves leave the vertebral spaces, named according to the section they leave the spinal column:

Cervical = 8 pairs
Thoracic =12 pairs
Lumbar = 5 pairs
Sacral = 5 pairs
Coccygea = 1 pair

spinal_cord_c (1)Sensory Neurones

Spinal nerves contain motor fibres.

Nerves convey messages from the cord to muscles.

Sensory fibres carry information into the cord.


spinal_cord1a (1)

BLUE = Cervical

GREEN = Thoracic

YELLOW = Lumbar

RED = Sacral / coccygeal