Cranial nerves are originated from brainstem and they mainly control the functions of the anatomic structures of the head. There are 12 pairs of cranial nerves:
Spinal nerves take their origins from the spinal cord. They control the functions of the rest of the body. There are 31 pairs of spinal nerves: 8 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar, 5 sacral and 1 coccygeal.