Your spinal cord is the part of your nervous system that relays messages to and from your brain. It is housed inside your vertebrae, which are the bone disks that make up your spine. Normally, your vertebrae protect your spinal cord. If they don't, you can sustain a spinal cord injury . Besides injuries, the spinal cord can develop Tumors Infections such as meningitis and poliomyelitis Inflammatory diseases Autoimmune diseases Degenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinal muscular atrophy Symptoms vary but might include pain, numbness, loss of sensation and muscle weakness. These symptoms can occur around the spinal cord, and also in other areas such as your arms and legs. Treatments vary but often include medicines and surgery.