Commonly referred to as a ‘pinched nerve’, cervical radiculopathy is can be a painful condition. It occurs when a nerve in the neck is compressed or irritated, branching away from the spinal cord. Cervical radiculopathy mostly occurs in people with the highest risk being the 50 to 54-year age group.
What Causes Cervical Radiculopathy?
The cervical spine plays host to eight pairs of cervical nerve roots, numbered C1 through C8. These nerve roots branch from the spinal cords, exiting on both sides of the spinal canal through an intervertebral foramen. These cervical nerves then branch out further to supply muscles that enable the functioning of the shoulders, arms, hands, and fingers. Sensory fibers are also carried through these cervical nerves to the skin, providing sensation, as well as carry signal to the immune system, and EENT (ears, eyes, nose, throat).
The most common causes are nerve roots that become inflamed or damaged due to a nearby bone spur (bony projections that develop along bone edges) or a cervical herniated disc from spinal degeneration or an injury. The less common causes of cervical radiculopathy could be an infection or a tumor.
What Are the Symptoms of Cervical Radiculopathy?
Symptoms can include a pins-and-needles sensation as well as tingling, numbness and/or weakness in the areas of the affected nerve root and pain in one area only, such as the shoulder. The pain can progress along the length of the arm and into the hands and fingers.
Signs and symptoms of this disorder most commonly affect just one side of the body. If the neurological deficit becomes severe or goes into the hand, this can reduce the ability to perform daily tasks such as writing, getting dressed or gripping and lifting objects.
How Do You Treat Cervical Radiculopathy?
There are numerous treatments for this disorder, both non-surgical and surgical. Treatment depends on the underlying cause and the severity of each case.
Typically, non-surgical treatments are preferred for six to twelve weeks. If no improvement occurs, then surgery would be considered.
The non-surgical neck pain treatment options include rest or activity modification, physical therapy, ice and/or heat therapy, chiropractic spinal care, and over-the-counter medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories.
Why go to The Head and Neck Centers of Excellence for your neck pain?
Those who are desperate for neck pain relief often seek our care prior to having invasive surgical procedures. Here at The Head and Neck Centers of Excellence, we can treat your neck pain in a gentle and drug-free way. We use a process of digitally controlled cervical traction, ligament retraining, spinal curvature restoration and specific spinal corrective care to ensure not only relief, but a long term solution.
If you are experiencing any neck pain symptoms, we encourage you to contact our clinic to set up an appointment with a neck pain specialist. Contact us for more information.