Spinal Cord

The spinal cord consists of thirty-one pairs of spinal nerves. They are all mixed nerves, and they provide a two-way communication system between the spinal cord and parts of the arms, legs, neck and trunk of the body. Although spinal nerves do not have individual names, they are grouped according to the level from which they stem, and each nerve is numbered in sequence. Hence, there are eight pairs of cervical nerves (numbered C1 - C8), twelve pairs of thoracic nerves (T1 - T12), five pairs...

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    Full Spinal Cord Description

    [Continued from above] . . . of lumbar nerves (L1 - L5), five pairs of sacral nerves (S1 - S5), and one pair of coccygeal nerves. The nerves coming from the upper part of the spinal cord pass outward nearly horizontally, while those from the lower regions descend at sharp angles. This is derived from the consequence of growth. In early life, the spinal cord extends the entire length of the vertebral column, but with age, the column grows faster than the cord. As a result, the adult spinal cord ends at the level between the first and second lumbar vertebrae, so the lumbar, sacral, and coccygeal nerves descend to their exits beyond the end of the cord.