Spinal cord (overview)

The spinal cord is a part of the central nervous system (CNS) along with the brain, with which it is continuous.

It is composed of white matter, which is the outer layer, and grey matter, which is located centrally.

The spinal cord is basically a long bundle of nervous tissue and supporting cells located within the spine. This part of the CNS provides innervation for the trunk and limbs.

The spinal cord also sends and receives impulses to and from different regions of the brain via nerve tracts.

The spinal cord is 40 to 50 cm long, and 1 to 1,5 cm in diameter. It is a cylindrical structure, greyish-white in color.

Two consecutive rows of nerve roots arise on each of its sides. These nerves join distally to form 31 spinal nerves.