The spinal cord ends in the lumbar area and continues as spinal nerves. Because of its resemblance to a horse's tail, the collection of these nerves at the end of the spinal cord is called the cauda equina. These nerves send and receive messages to and from the legs and pelvic organs.
Review Date: 1/25/2013
Reviewed By: Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital.