Cervical radiculopathy (pinched nerve in neck)

Back | Orthopaedics | Cervical radiculopathy (pinched nerve in neck) (Disease)


Cervical radiculopathy also known as Herniated intervertebral disk is a dysfunction of a nerve root of the cervical spine.

Symptoms of a herniated disc can vary depending on the types of soft tissue that become involved. In some cases, the pain is severe enough that you are unable to move. You may also have numbness. Deep pain near or over the shoulder blade, or pain that moves to the upper arm, forearm, or fingers can appear and also numbness along your shoulder, elbow, forearm, and fingers. Weakness in certain muscles is another symptom.

Causes and Risk factors

A herniated (slipped) disk occurs when all or part of a disk in the spine is forced through a weakened part of the disk. This places pressure on nearby nerves.

Slipped disks occur more often in middle-aged and older men, usually after strenuous activity, repetitive neck extension and rotation in certain sports, such as swimming or tennis, may result in a more insidious injury. Other risk factors include conditions present at birth (congenital) that affect the size of the lumbar spinal canal.

In the younger population, cervical radiculopathy is a result of a disc herniation or an acute injury causing foraminal impingement of an exiting nerve. Cervical radiculopathy in athletes can occur from several mechanisms. These injuries can occur from an extension, lateral bending, or rotation mechanism.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is made after a physical exam, including Computer Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and cervical spine x-ray.

The first treatment is a short period of rest with medications for the pain, followed by physical therapy. ...