Radiculopathy: Far Beyond Neck Pain

If a nerve root in your cervical spine gets compressed, it can swell and become damaged,  altering your neurological function. The inflammation can cause uncomfortable symptoms in your neck, shoulder, down your arm, and into your hand and fingers. This condition is called cervical radiculopathy or what you might know as a “pinched nerve.” 

Navin Mallavaram, MD, and our professional pain management team are leading experts in  neck pain. We can identify the root cause of your issue and provide the right treatment to give you relief.

Understanding the anatomy of the spine

Your spine has 24 bones that connect together, creating a tunnel that protects your spinal cord. Of the 24 vertebrae, you have seven that go from the bottom of your skull to the bottom of your neck, making up the cervical part of your spine.

Your spinal cord has nerve roots that send signals between your brain and muscles. Your vertebrae have discs between them that allow your spine flexibility. They also serve as cushions to absorb any compression when walking or running.

The anatomy of your spine works together to keep it strong and functioning properly.

Causes of radiculopathy

The onset of radiculopathy can develop from a few different causes.

Degeneration

With age comes degenerative changes, which is normal. As the discs in your spine begin to get older, they regress by losing water, causing them to become brittle. The discs can then shift, collapse, and cause your vertebrae to move closer together.

As this happens, your body forms bone around the disc as a natural response. As the bone grows, bone spurs develop, which stiffen your spine. The bone growth can also close in on the spinal column, which can pinch your nerve roots.

For some, you can experience painful symptoms. But about 50% of all middle-aged and older people won’t have any symptoms at all.

Herniated disc

If your disc wears out or becomes injured, its nucleus can push out past its outer ring, causing a bulge in the direction of your spinal canal. Pressure then gets applied to your sensitive nerve root, which can cause weakness or pain in that area.

Herniated discs often happen by way of injury when lifting, bending over, pulling a weighty object, or twisting your body.

Symptoms of radiculopathy

Your symptoms typically start in your neck and travel down to your arm, hand, and fingers. You might feel:

To lessen the risk of putting yourself in more pain, refrain from turning your head or putting any kind of strain on your neck.

Solutions for radiculopathy

We understand how cervical radiculopathy can affect more than just your neck. We have treatments that offer immediate, long-lasting relief. Our conservative approach to your wellbeing can get you back in the routine of life soon.

If you suffer from neck pain that continues down your shoulder, arm, hand, and fingers, contact us at the office nearest you today. We can give you an accurate diagnosis and a personalized treatment plan to help your body heal.

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