Cervical Radiculopathy (Pinched Nerve) Treatment
Do you know that cervical radiculopathy (pinched nerves) affects, on average, 85 out of 100,000 people? Do you know that people in their 50s are the most affected population?
Do you think you’re at risk for cervical radiculopathy, and you’d like your symptoms to be evaluated as soon as possible?
The experienced doctors at National Pain Institute can provide conservative, non-invasive treatment options to minimize and possibly cure your cervical radiculopathy condition. We have several locations in Florida (Ft. Pierce, Lake Mary, New Port Richey, Port St. Lucie, Turkey Lake, Lady Lake, and Winter Park).
Now we’ll give you specific details regarding cervical radiculopathy.
What is Cervical Radiculopathy?
Cervical radiculopathy is also known as a “pinched nerve” because a nerve root can become pinched by a bone spur or by a herniated disc. This condition is also a result when a nerve in the neck region becomes irritated and compressed upon exiting the spinal canal.
Quick facts about cervical radiculopathy:
- Who is most affected? Workers who use vibrating machinery, heavy laborers, athletes, people who sit for long periods of time, and people who have arthritis in the neck regions are most affected.
- For young patients, a cervical disc herniation due to trauma can cause cervical radiculopathy.
- For older patients, cervical radiculopathy can occur due to arthritis or a decreased disc height in the neck.
Common Symptoms of Cervical Radiculopathy
- pinched nerve in neck
- arm numbness
- herniated disc
- sharp neck pain
- arm pain
- arm weakness
- degenerative disc in neck
- lack of coordination in the arm and hand
- neck pain after surgery
- tingling or numbness in the back of the arm
- shoulder pain, numbness, or weakness
- pain described as “pins and needles”
- a popping sensation in the cervical regions
- general, dull achiness near the affected nerve
- pain that progressively gets worse with specific neck movements
- pain that improves when the patient’s arm is lifted over and behind the head—this action relieves the tension from the spinal nerve
As you can see by looking at this list, cervical radiculopathy oftentimes causes symptoms that spread away from the neck region. Even though the problem is located in the spine, patients feel symptoms in the hands, arms, and shoulders.
What Causes Cervical Radiculopathy?
A condition that irritates or damages the cervical nerve can cause cervical radiculopathy. The 3 most common causes are:
- cervical degenerative disc disease
- cervical spinal stenosis
- cervical herniated disc
Occurring at a less frequent rate, tumors, fractures, or sarcoidosis can cause cervical radiculopathy.
Treatment and Care Options
Conservative treatment options include:
- medications to alleviate inflammation, pain, muscle spasms, and sleep disturbances.
- wearing a cervical collar to provide support and to limit motion while the spinal or neck injury is healing.
- using a cervical pillow at night to help ease the pain and to sleep better.
- getting an epidural steroid injection, also known as a cervical nerve block.
- using physical therapy techniques, which are typically completed after a patient has surgery to fix cervical radiculopathy. Physical therapy strategies include: pain management, manual therapy, posture education, strengthening exercises, range-of-motion exercises, and functional training.
If conservative treatment does not work properly, surgery may be needed. Surgery may also be needed if a patient shows signs of:
- muscle wasting
- increasing numbness or weakness
- unbearable pain
- the problem starting to affect the leg(s)
Managing and Living With Cervical Radiculopathy
Many people manage and live with cervical radiculopathy day in and day out. Additionally, there are ways to prevent cervical radiculopathy from recurring.
- Maintain good, proper posture while sitting.
- Use an ergonomic workstation throughout your workday.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Maintain a regular exercise regiment.
If you have any questions regarding your specific case, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with our doctors. We will provide specific strategies to help you live as pain free as possible while managing the symptoms of cervical radiculopathy.
Resources and Tools: What Should You Do Now?
If you suffer from cervical radiculopathy, we will help make your life less painful. Our unique approach treats pain before it becomes chronic.
A physical examination, an MRI, and/or a specialized nerve test (an EMG or an NCV test) can be performed to find out if you suffer from cervical radiculopathy. Caught early enough, along with the use of conservative treatment, will help you avoid surgery as much as possible and regain normal functioning.
If you would like to learn more, if you have any questions, or if you’d like to schedule your appointment, please call one of our office locations nearest to you. You can find an office by clicking on this link: http://www.natpain.com/locations/