spinal nerves Pairs of nerves that arise from the spinal cord (compare cranial nerves). In humans there are 31 pairs (one from each of the vertebrae). Each nerve arises from a dorsal root and a ventral root and contains both motor and sensory fibres (i.e. they are mixed nerves). The spinal nerves form an important part of the peripheral nervous system.
spinal nerves pl. n. the 31 pairs of nerves that leave the spinal cord and are distributed to the body, passing out from the vertebral canal through the spaces between the arches of the vertebrae.
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