Cervical Radiculopathy: What is, how it manifests, treatments and much more The Cervical Radiculopathy Treatment Guide Medical News Today

Cervical radiculopathy, also referred to as pinched nerve occurs when the nerve located in neck is injured or compressed.

It is extremely painful and can impact a person’s quality of living. Most of the time, it will resolve on its own. However, the use of medication and physical therapy may aid in speeding the healing process.

This article examines cervical radiculopathy more in depth covering its causes, symptoms and treatment options.

Cervical Radiculopathy is a disorder that affects the cervical spinal nerve root.

The cervical spine extends from the shoulder blades to the head and comprises seven vertebrae. Numerous nerves pass through these vertebrae.

If the nerve within the neck is stretched, inflamed or injured, this could cause pain.

There are numerous possible causes for cervical radiculopathy.

Age-related reasons

As one gets older the possibility of degenerative changes will take place. When they affect the spine this condition is known as spondylosis.

A few people are prone to developing arthritis that can cause arthritis of joints. The severity of arthritis is different for each individual and, in most cases people, they can control their symptoms by taking medications.

A possible age-related degenerative alteration is the weakening of disks that are located within the vertebrae seven of the cervical spine. The disks can become stiff, dry out or move and put pressure on the nerves. Both degenerative disk diseases and disk herniation may cause cervical radiculopathy.

A condition known as cervical foraminal stenosis can be seen in people who age. The pressure is put on the nerves when the holes in the bone become small. According to


It is a typical reason for cervical radiculopathy.

Trauma or injury

For younger people cervical radiculopathy can occur in the event that a person has an injury to their neck or suffers from a slipped disk. This is a sign there is a chance that one or more of the cushions between the vertebrae is from its place. It could press into the spinal canal, putting excessive pressure on nerves.

The person could herniate the disk as a result of an injury that is only one or two times or because of repeated heavy pushing, lifting bent or twisting motions.

Fractures of the cervical spine could also result in cervical radiculopathy.

Tumors or cancer

In rare instances the presence of cancer or a tumor could trigger cervical radiculopathy. This is due to the fact that the tumor can develop in a location that puts stress on nerve roots.


A cervical spine could result in inflammation or damage to nerve roots.


Sarcoidosis is an uncommon condition that causes swelling of tissue throughout the body.

While it is most often affecting the lungs and skin swelling, it can also occur within the cervical spine. If it does it can cause pinched nerve.

Other autoimmune disorders like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis, may be a cause of this.

Anyone suffering from cervical radioculopathy

Most most likely

You may experience the patient with a dull or sharp discomfort in the neck or arm or both.

Research from the past

It is believed that the pain could be worsened in sleeping. Any movement that increases the pressure over the nerve root may also increase the pain.

Other symptoms are:

  • shoulder, arm, or hand weaknesses in hand, arm, shoulder or hand
  • Numbness or tingling in the arm and hand
  • the loss of feeling in the arms, hands or neck
  • keeping the head on one side

If cervical radiculopathy is diagnosed, the doctor will look at the patient’s symptoms and conduct an exam. It is possible to look for signs that indicate muscle weakening, issues with sensation, or reflex responses.

Then, they could suggest the patient get an x-ray CT scan as well as an MRI scan. These tests help doctors get a better view of vertebrae and bones.

The patient may also have undergo a test known as electromyography. The test measures electrical impulses. It will help doctors determine if nerves are functioning correctly.

There are a variety of ways to treat cervical radiculopathy.


Doctors might suggest wearing a cervical collar. It is called neck brace. This limits movement , and allows the cervical muscles to ease.

Neck braces are comfortable, soft and typically adjustable, however they’re only for short-term usage.

Exercises for physical therapy

The physical therapy method is considered a safe and accessible treatment option that doctors typically recommend as the first-line treatment strategy.

In sessions, a therapist will lead a patient through exercises. They can help ease discomfort, build muscles, and expand the mobility.

Therapists may employ the technique of traction, which is also known as decompression therapy. The goal of this therapy can be to stretch out the region and lessen pressure. This may ease discomfort.


If exercises in physical therapy are not helping the patient, a physician may suggest medications.

There are some who believe that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) like aspirin and ibuprofen provide enough relief. They may help to reduce inflammation and pain that is associated with nerve injury.

If required, a physician could prescribe a short dose of corticosteroids taken orally in order to reduce inflammation and swelling. Alternately, they may inject corticosteroids.

If a person is suffering from extreme pain, a physician might recommend a short course of prescription narcotics. These are stronger than corticosteroid and NSAID medications but they can also cause constipation. They’re also among the prescribed drugs that the majority of people use. Because of this, patients are advised to only use them for a brief time.


In extreme cases surgical intervention may be required for treating cervical radiculopathy. The kinds of surgeries doctors may suggest include:

  • The anterior cervical discectomy as well as fusion In this process surgeons remove the disc that has caused issues. Then, they fuse the spine by using spine grafts. But, this can restrict neck movement.
  • Artificial disk replacement This is the process of the removal of the problem disk , and then replacing it with a new one. It is more flexible over anterior cervical discectomy as well as Fusion procedures.
  • Posterior cervical laminoforaminotomy In this procedure, the surgeon creates an incision on the back of the neck. They then scrape into the back of the spinal canal, and then remove any bone spurs that are causing problems disks, tissues, or discs. This doesn’t require spinal fusion, and the neck can be kept in flexibility.

If someone is experiencing neck pain and is concerned that they might be suffering from cervical radiculopathy they should seek out a medical professional. It is equally vital for patients to see a doctor if pain is triggered by an injury or trauma like a car accident or a fall.

The doctor will inquire about the patient’s complaints and medical history prior to performing an exam. The doctor may recommend further tests before suggesting appropriate treatments.

Cervical Radiculopathy is a disease which affects nerves that are located in the neck.

The nerves may be compressed, which can cause neck or arm discomfort.

It can happen for many reasons, but typically involves injuries or degenerative causes.

A variety of treatments are offered to cure the problem that include medication or physical therapy as well as surgical procedures.