Courses
Courses for Kids
Free study material
Offline Centres
More

Difference Between Backbone and Spinal Cord

ffImage
Last updated date: 28th Feb 2024
Total views: 68.4k
Views today: 0.68k

What is Backbone and Spinal Cord: An Introduction

To explain Backbone and Spinal Cord: The backbone, also known as the vertebral column, is a vital part of the human skeletal system. It is composed of a series of bones called vertebrae that are stacked on top of each other. The backbone provides support, stability, and protection to the delicate spinal cord, which is a long, cylindrical bundle of nerves that runs through the vertebral column.


The spinal cord acts as a major communication pathway, transmitting signals between the brain and the rest of the body. It plays a crucial role in relaying sensory information and coordinating motor responses. Together, the characteristics of  backbone and spinal cord form an integral part of the nervous system, ensuring the proper functioning of the human body.

Characteristics of backbone and spinal cord

Backbone:

The backbone, also known as the vertebral column or spinal column, is a flexible and sturdy structure found in humans and other vertebrates. It consists of a series of individual bones called vertebrae, which are stacked one on top of the other. The backbone has several important characteristics:


Support and Stability: The backbone provides support for the body, allowing us to stand upright and maintain proper posture. It also helps to distribute the weight of the body evenly.


Protection: One of the main functions of the backbone is to protect the spinal cord, which is a crucial part of the nervous system. The vertebrae form a protective casing around the spinal cord, shielding it from potential damage.


Flexibility: The backbone is designed to be flexible, allowing for a wide range of movements such as bending, twisting, and stretching. This flexibility is facilitated by the structure of the vertebrae and the intervertebral discs between them.


Attachment Points: The backbone serves as an attachment site for various muscles, ligaments, and tendons, which help in the movement and stabilization of the body.


Structural Integrity: The backbone is constructed in a way that provides strength and stability to the body. The shape and arrangement of the vertebrae contribute to the overall structural integrity of the backbone.


In summary, the backbone is a vital structure that provides support, protection, flexibility, and attachment points in the human body.

Spinal Cord:

The spinal cord is a long, cylindrical bundle of nerve tissue that runs within the vertebral column, or backbone, of humans and other vertebrates. It is a crucial part of the central nervous system and has several important characteristics:


Communication Pathway: The spinal cord acts as a major communication pathway between the brain and the rest of the body. It carries sensory information from the body's periphery to the brain and transmits motor commands from the brain to the muscles and organs.


Nerve Tissue: The spinal cord is composed of specialized nerve cells called neurons, along with supporting glial cells. Neurons within the spinal cord relay electrical signals and allow for the transmission of information.


Protection: The spinal cord is well-protected within the bony vertebral column. The vertebrae act as a protective casing, shielding the delicate nerve tissue from external trauma.


Segmental Organisation: The spinal cord is organised into segments, each corresponding to a specific region of the body. These segments contain sensory and motor neurons that are responsible for specific functions and movements.


Reflex Arcs: The spinal cord plays a key role in coordinating reflex actions. When a sensory stimulus triggers a reflex, the spinal cord can generate an immediate response without involving the brain, allowing for quick and automatic reactions.


In summary, the spinal cord serves as a vital link between the brain and the body, facilitating communication, coordinating reflexes, and providing protection for the delicate nerve tissue it contains.


Differences Between Backbone and Spinal Cord

Here we will discuss Backbone and Spinal Cord difference in different categories:


S.No

Category

Backbone

Spinal Cord


Location

Located outside the spinal column

Located inside the spinal column


Composition

Composed of vertebrae, discs, ligaments, and muscles

Composed of nervous tissue and supportive cells


Structure

Provides structural support and protection to the spinal cord and nerves

Transmits nerve signals between the brain and body


Function

Offers stability and flexibility to the body

Acts as a pathway for sensory and motor information


Sensitivity

Not directly involved in sensory or motor functions

Involved in transmitting sensory and motor signals


Regeneration

Limited regenerative capacity

Limited regenerative capacity


Summary

The backbone, also known as the vertebral column, is a series of bones called vertebrae that provides support, protection, and flexibility to the body. It serves as an anchor for muscles, protects the spinal cord, and allows for movement. The spinal cord, on the other hand, is a long, cylindrical bundle of nerve fibers that extends from the base of the brain to the lower back. It acts as a vital communication pathway, transmitting sensory information from the body to the brain and coordinating motor responses. The backbone and spinal cord work together to ensure the structural integrity and proper functioning of the nervous system in vertebrates.

FAQs on Difference Between Backbone and Spinal Cord

1. What is the backbone?

The backbone, also known as the vertebral column or spinal column, is a vital part of the skeletal system in vertebrates. It is composed of a series of small bones called vertebrae that are stacked on top of each other, providing support, protection, and flexibility to the body.

2. What is the spinal cord?

The spinal cord is a long, cylindrical bundle of nerve tissue that runs through the vertebral column. It is responsible for transmitting signals between the brain and the rest of the body. The spinal cord is protected by the vertebrae and is surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid, providing cushioning and protection.

3. What are the functions of the backbone?

The backbone serves several important functions. It provides structural support, allowing the body to maintain an upright posture. It protects the delicate spinal cord from injury. The backbone also acts as an attachment point for muscles, allowing for movement and locomotion

4. What are the functions of the spinal cord?

The spinal cord plays a crucial role in the central nervous system. It acts as a pathway for nerve signals traveling between the brain and the rest of the body. The spinal cord is involved in sensory processing, motor control, and reflex responses. It helps to coordinate movement, transmit sensory information, and regulate bodily functions.

5. How are the backbone and spinal cord connected?

The spinal cord runs through a central canal within the vertebral column, protected by the surrounding vertebrae. Nerves from the spinal cord branch out between the vertebrae, connecting to different regions of the body. The backbone provides a protective bony structure for the spinal cord, ensuring its stability and safety.