You will find below ten facts about your spinal cord. If you have any questions about your back pain or spinal health, please don’t hesitate to contact my office at 312.695.7746 (312.695.SPINE). If you find this article interesting you can will also enjory my article 10 Facts you might not know about your spine.
1. You Spinal cord connects your brain to the rest of your body
The spinal cord is a tube-like structure that runs through the center of your back. It contains nerves that carry messages between your brain and the rest of your body. The spine protects the spinal cord, so we must ensure our spines are strong and healthy!
2. The spinal cord can process information independently of the brain
The spinal cord is a part of the central nervous system and as such can process information independently of the brain.
3. The spinal cord is surrounded by spinal fluid
One of the roles of the cerebrospinal fluid which surrounds the spinal cord is to act as a shock absorber and prevent spinal cord injury.
4. Over one million nerve fibers travel through the spinal cord
These nerve fibers called axons form a highway through which all the information going up to or down from the brain travels.
5. The weight of the spinal cord is around 35 grams.
Despite the million axons that run through it, the spinal cord is particularly small and weigh only 35 grams.
6. The spinal cord is about 18 inches (45 cm) in length
In most people the spinal cord end just below the ribs level
7. The length of the spinal cord does not change as we get older
The length of the spinal cord does not change as we get older, whereas the length of our bony spine changes. Therefore, our spinal cords ascend in our spines in the first few years of life.
8. The spinal cord is about half an inch in diameter
All the axons in the spinal cord run in a tube half an inch in diameter
9. The longest cell in the human body is a neuron connecting the spinal cord to the top of your toes.
This single neuron measures more than 3 feet (1 meter)
10. Car accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries.
Car accidents, especially those involving motor vehicles and pedestrians or cyclists, can result in serious injuries. They are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries.