Cervical radiculopathy is a broad-based clinical description of pain and neurological symptoms resulting from any type of condition that irritates a nerve in the cervical spine (neck). Cervical nerves exit the spine at each level(c1-c7.) When nerve roots in the cervical spine are irritated through compression or inflammation, the symptoms can radiate along that nerve's pathway into the arm and hand. Each person will have different symptoms depending on which nerves are being affected in the cervical spine.
Causes of Cervical Radiculopathy
- Cervical Herniated Disc. If the inner material of the cervical disc herniates, or leaks out, and inflames and/or impinges on the adjacent nerve, it can cause cervical radiculopathy.
- Cervical Spinal Stenosis. As part of the degenerative process of the cervical spine, changes in the spinal joints can lead to tightening of the space for the spinal canal.
- Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease. When the cervical spine degenerates over time, it can result in degenerated discs and a pinched nerve.
- Less frequently, cervical radiculopathy can be caused by other conditions, such as a tumor, fracture or sarcoidosis, which can compress or cause damage to the cervical nerve roots.
- People suffering from cervical radulopathy typically feel pain, weakness or numbness in the areas served by the damaged nerve.
- Pain can range from one area only, as in the shoulder, or the entire arm.
- Types of pain can vary, ranging from dull, non-localized pain or a sever sharp, burning sensation.
- “Pins and needles” sensation or even numbness are a symptom of cervical radiculopathy
- Certain neck movements, like bending the neck back, side to side or rotating it, may increase pain.
Risk Factors for Cervical Radiculopathy
- Injury, overuse and poor body mechanics can lead to numerous conditions resulting in Radiculopathy of the cervical spine
- Aging and genetics can adversely affect the nerves in the neck
- Along with maintaining normal body weight, a healthy diet and not smoking lead to less chance of risk factors.
At home treatment for Cervical Radiculopathy
- Refraining from repetitive movements of the neck and forceful or heavy lifting movements during the acute phase.
- A cervical collar is often helpful to limit neck motion if there is an acute injury.
- Resting in a position that is comfortable may alleviate some pain symptoms
Treatment of Cervical radiculopathy
We use the following approaches to treat Cervical Radiculopathy
- ASTR® Tools: Our doctors use a variety of ASTR® tools to release scar tissue and myofascial restriction, which can decrease mobility and flexibility.
- Special exercise program to decrease pain, strengthen the muscles, stabilize and help the patient to return to normal function and activities.
- Special instructions on how to speed up the recovery time.
- Cold Laser Therapy: Tissue inflammation is common with Cervical Radiculopathy. Cold laser is used in order to decrease inflammation that causes pressure on the affected area.