Cervical Radiculopathy 

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What is it?

Radiculopathy refers to the symptoms that develop when a nerve root is pinched or damaged. The term “cervical” is derived from the Latin word “cervix,” which means “neck.” Thus, cervical radiculopathy, which you may know better as a pinched nerve, develops when a nerve root in the cervical spine (neck) becomes compressed and inflamed. This irritation to the nerve root results in neurological dysfunction. Cervical radiculopathy does not differentiate by age; anyone can develop this condition, although it is more common in adults. It affects about 85 out of every 100,000 people. 

What causes cervical radiculopathy?

The compression of nerve roots in the cervical spine can occur for several reasons. Age-related degeneration of the cervical spine, which naturally develops as a result of growing older, can cause compression. This age-related degeneration is also known as cervical spondylosis. A herniated disc in the neck can also cause cervical radiculopathy, as the inner gel-like nucleus of the disc bulges outwards and presses on a nearby nerve root. This condition may also result from a variety of problems with the bones and tissues of the cervical spinal column, such as spinal stenosis, disc displacement, or degenerative disc disease

If you’re experiencing chronic pain and believe that it might be a result of cervical radiculopathy, please reach out to our team at Apex Interventional Pain & Spine today!

What are the symptoms of cervical radiculopathy?

As with many other conditions, the neurological symptoms that result from cervical radiculopathy can vary by person and location/degree of injury. When a nerve root in the cervical spine becomes compressed or damaged in any way, it can also affect other nerves that are attached to it. The nerves in the cervical spine also extend to the shoulders, arms, chest, upper back, and hands, which explains how the pain can travel throughout the body.

Those with cervical radiculopathy may experience sharp or burning pain, numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, or weakened reflexes. With this condition, pain typically only affects one side of the body; for example, it would only affect one arm, rather than both. Treatments include epidural steroid injections and selective nerve root blocks.