What is it?
More commonly known as a pinched nerve, cervical radiculopathy is an injury near the root of a spinal nerve that causes pain that may radiate into the neck, shoulder and arm.
Causes, Symptoms and Risk Factors
As people age, their vertebrae become more compact and can result in bone spurs forming, which can stiffen the spine and pinch the nerves. Pinched nerves also can be caused by impact on the neck, such as that on football players making a tackle. Symptoms of cervical radiculopathy include:
- Pain that is intense and radiates into the neck, shoulder and arms
A doctor will diagnose cervical radiculopathy by examining the neck, checking its range of motion and strength, reviewing symptoms and medical history, and conducting imaging test, such as X-rays, an MRI or CT scans.
Treatments for cervical radiculopathy include:
- Taking anti-inflammatory medication
- Getting injections in the spine
- Wearing a soft collar
- Undergoing physical therapy
If symptoms do not improve, the doctor may recommend surgery.