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The SPINE (backbone) starts below the waist and ends at your head. Along with the muscles in your back, it allows you to stand upright. The spine is actually made up of 33 small bones, called VERTEBRAE, with a cord inside called the spinal cord. The SPINAL CORD is a bundle of nerves that takes messages from the brain to the body. For example, those messages tell your hands to move or your feet to walk when your brain wants them to. Any serious injury to the spine, particularly to the neck area (CERVICAL SPINE), can cause a permanent interruption in the messages from the brain to the body. You may no longer be able to move your arms or legs for instance. This is what is known as being "PARALYZED". For this reason, it is very important to avoid injuring the spine.

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