Traumatic mechanical loading of the head-neck complex results cervical spinal cord injury when the distortion of the cord is sufficient to produce functional or structural failure of the cord's neural and/or vascular components. Characterizing cervical spinal cord deformation during physiological loading conditions is an important step to defining a comprehensive injury threshold associated with acute spinal cord injury. In this study, in vivo quasi- static deformation of the cervical spinal cord during flexion of the neck in human volunteers was measured using magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of motion with spatial modulation of magnetization (SPAMM). A custom-designed device was built to guide the motion of the neck and enhance more reproducibility. the SPAMM pulse sequence labeled the tissue with a series of parallel tagging lines. A single- shot gradient-recalled-echo sequence was used to acquire the mid-sagittal image of the cervical spine. A comparison of the tagged line pattern in each MR reference and deformed image pair revealed the distortion of the spinal cord. The results showed the cervical spinal cord elongates during head flexion. The elongation experienced by the spinal cord varies linearly with head flexion, with the posterior surface of the cord stretching more than the anterior surface. The maximal elongation of the cord is about 12 percent of its original length.