Why We Need A Spine

Why do we have a spine?  It is because our bodies must protect the signals from your head to your body parts. 

Your brain sends communication to your muscles and other body parts by connecting brain signals to those parts.

Spinal cord nerves

The connection to those parts is through the extension of the brain, the spinal cord, and then coming off the spinal cord, are individual nerves that go to the individual muscles, individual organs, and individual areas of skin sensation.

The best analogy I can give is that of the light switch.

Light switch

Specific light switches go to specific lamps in the room.  One light switch may go to the lamp in the kitchen.  One light switch may go to the lamp in the front of the house. Each of these individual wires are like the nerves that go from the brain to a certain part of your body.   The bundle of all the individual wires is the spinal cord.  The individual wires going to their respective body parts or areas.

The brain and the extension of the brain, the spinal cord and individual nerves are easily damaged.

Spine and skull

That is why the brain is encased in a very hard bone called your skull.  The bones in your head protect the brain.  In addition, the extension of the brain, the spinal cord, is protected by the bones called the vertebrae. 

But these protective bones, the skull, and the vertebrae need to also move.  That is why the spine is more than just the bones encasing the spinal cord and nerves.  It also is composed of the softer component call the disc.

Disc

The disc component called the annulus fibrosis acts as a ligament holding the bones to each other, while allowing the spine to bend and turn and rotate without breaking or dislocating.  The discs also have a softer inner core called the nucleus pulposus that act as a shock absorber and also creates disc spacing between the bones allowing the nerves to branch off from the spinal cord into the respective body areas.

The combination of the bone, and the disc protects the spinal cord and the nerves while still allowing controlled movement.  This is why we need a spine.  I hope this makes it easier to understand why you have the spine.

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Last modified: February 6, 2020

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