The spinal cord is a long, delicate structure of a tube that starts at the end of the stem of the brain and goes down almost to the bottom of the spine. Nerves that carry incoming and outgoing signals between the brain and the rest of the body consist of the spinal cord. For reflexes, such as the knee jerk reflex, it is also the centre.
Three layers of tissue protect the spinal cord, like the brain (meninges). In the spinal canal, which runs along the middle of the spine, the spinal cord and meninges are located. The spine is composed of 33 individual backbones in most adults (vertebrae). Much like the skull covers the brain, the spinal cord is covered by vertebrae.
Disks made of cartilage, which serve as cushions, separate the vertebrae, minimizing the forces produced by movements such as walking and jumping. The cartilage vertebrae and discs stretch the length of the spine and form the vertebral column together, often referred to as the spinal column.
The spinal cord, like the brain, consists of gray and white matter. The cord's butterfly-shaped core is made of gray matter. There are motor nerve cells (neurons) in the front wings (also called horns) that relay information from the brain or spinal cord to muscles, stimulating movement. Sensory nerve cells include the back horns, which relay sensory information to the brain from other parts of the body via the spinal cord. The surrounding white matter comprises columns of nerve fibres from the rest of the body (ascending tracts) that carry sensory input to the brain and columns that carry motor impulses from the brain to the muscles (descending tracts).
Organization of the Spine
The spine is made up of a column of bones called vertebrae (spinal column). The spinal cord, a long, fragile structure contained in the spinal canal which runs through the centre of the spine, is protected by the vertebrae. Disks made up of cartilage are between the vertebrae, which help cushion the spine and give it some flexibility.
Three layers of tissue protect the spinal cord, like the brain (meninges).
1. Spinal Nerves:
There are 31 spinal nerve pairs arising from the spinal cord between the vertebrae. Two short branches (roots) emerge from each nerve:
The motor roots carry commands, particularly skeletal muscles, from the brain and spinal cord to other parts of the body.
The sensorial roots bring information from other parts of the body to the brain.
2. Cauda Equina:
About three-fourths of the way down the spine, the spinal cord stops, but a bundle of nerves stretches beyond the cord. This bundle, since it resembles the tail of a horse, is called the cauda equina. Nerve impulses are carried by the cauda equina to and from the legs.
Backbone is another name that the vertebral column is used to identify. A flexible column that runs from the neck to the tail of the vertebrate body is the vertebral column. The primary characteristic used to distinguish vertebrates from other chordates is usually the presence of a vertebral column.
A notochord is usually formed by chordates; this notochord can be identified only during embryonic development in vertebrates. Later, it grows into the vertebral column. In addition, the vertebral column consists of a series of vertebrae grouped as cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral, and coccygeal vertebrae and is a bony structure. Humans have a backbone of 33 vertebrae.
In addition, housing the spinal canal is the main feature of the vertebral column or backbone; the spinal cord extends from head to tail within this canal. It also provides the spinal cord with protection and provides sites for the nerves to emerge from the spinal cord.
The spinal cord is basically one of the two components of the central nervous system, while the brain is the second component. Here, the backbone provides muscles such as pectoral and pelvic girdles and many muscles for attachment sites. In addition, when standing and walking, the backbone transmits body weight into the pelvis.
What is the Difference Between Spinal Cord and Backbone?
The key distinction between the backbone and the spine is that the more informal term for the vertebral column is the backbone, whereas the more formal term is the spine.
The more casual word to define the vertebral column, which is the vertebrate body's most distinctive characteristic, is the backbone. It consists of a series of vertebrae which are divided by intervertebral discs. The spine is the more formal term used to define the vertebral column, on the other hand. The only difference between the backbone and the spine is, therefore, the use of the term.