Cervical radiculopathy, also called nerve root impingement, nerve entrapment or pinched nerve, refers to a chronic condition that injures the spinal nerve roots in the neck by compression or irritation. It is more common in adults and elderly people and rare in young people.
Cervical radiculopathy can be caused by herniated disc, bone spurs (osteophytes), spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease. It may also occur as a result of trauma or muscle spasm that puts pressure on the peripheral nerve.
The primary symptom of cervical radiculopathy is neck pain that radiates into the shoulders and travels down the arm into the hand.
An individual with cervical radiculopathy may also experience:
- Numbness or tingling from the neck to the fingers, depending on which nerve is affected
- Loss of coordination, especially in the hands
- Difficulty lifting things
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle spasms
- Loss of motion, including the inability to bend backward, move sideways, or turn the head
- Difficulty sitting for extended periods
The cervical spine specialists at Lancaster Orthopedic Group provide comprehensive services for all musculoskeletal conditions, including cervical radiculopathy, and offer a spectrum of treatment options designed to get you back to the activities you enjoy.
The majority of patients with cervical radiculopathy benefit from conservative treatment, which includes anti-inflammatory and pain medications, muscle relaxants, spinal injections, physical therapy, braces to support the spine, and acupuncture.
If the problem persists, surgery may be recommended to decompress the nerves and relieve the pressure.