Protective Functions of the Spine
The spinal column protects and supports the spinal cord and the radiating nerves. The spinal cord, stated simply, is an extension of the brain. It is embedded in the spinal canal. Between the vertebral bodies the nerves radiate outward. These nerves transmits signals to specific muscle groups from the brain and conduct sensations back to the brain. The unobstructed exit of nerves is assured by the exit openings of the vertebral bodies.
These opening can be narrowed due to degenerative disease of the motion segments, leading to impingement of the nerves. This is one of main causes of many back pain complaints.
Finally, the spinal column protects and supports organs and blood vessels in the torso.