Cervical radiculopathy is a painful condition caused by compressed nerve in the cervical spine. Compression or damage of these nerves can lead to pain and loss of the sensation in the arm and the hand.
Cervical radiculopathy can occur due to pressure from disc material from a ruptured disc, osteoarthritis of the cervical facet joints, cervical spondylosis or cervical spondylolisthesis, or injuries that put pressure on the nerve roots near the cervical area. The problem occurs at or near the nerve’s root, shortly after its exit from the spinal cord. However, the pain or other symptoms often radiate to the part of the body served by that nerve. Cervical radiculopathy can occur due to various reasons for different age groups. It is more common among middle-aged and older individuals, as the spine progressively degenerates from osteoarthritis. In younger people, cervical radiculopathy is usually a result of injury in the cervical spine.
The primary symptoms characteristic of cervical radiculopathy is radiating pain in the neck, shoulders, arms, chest, and upper back. A person suffering from radiculopathy is likely to experience weakened muscles and numbness in the hands and fingers as the condition worsens. Other common symptoms are a lack of sensation and reduced coordination of the upper limbs. Cervical radiculopathy can cause sensory, motor, and coordination problems.
Diagnosis of cervical radiculopathy involves the physical examination of the patient and a review of their history. Imaging studies like X-Rays and MRI’s are performed to diagnose the severity. Your pain doctor during the examination may perform the Spurling’s test to diagnose clinically this condition. Spurling’s test allows the doctor to examine whether the cervical spine’s compression can produce a temporary worsening of the your condition.
The symptoms of cervical radiculopathy may be treated with pain medications, injections, home cervical traction device and physical therapy. Physical therapy will involve progressive cervical traction and mobilization exercises to reduce the tension in the area. This can help reduce pain and provide relief to the patient . If the condition is severe to the point of muscle weakness and lack of coordination,you pain doctor will refer you to a neurosurgeon for consultation for surgery. Call us at 570-323-3106 for consultation.