More commonly referred to as a pinched nerve, a cervical radiculopathy
is a dysfunction of or damage to a nerve root of the cervical spine. Damage
may occur as a result of pressure from material from a ruptured disc,
degenerative changes in bones, arthritis or other injuries that put pressure
on the nerve roots.
Cervical radiculopathy is caused by compression or irritation of the nerves
as they exit the spine. This can be due to a ruptured disc, degenerative
changes in the bones, arthritis or other conditions or injuries that put
pressure on the nerve roots.
Symptoms of a cervical radiculopathy may include:
- Pain that spreads into the arm, neck, chest and/or shoulders.
- Weakness/numbness or tingling in the shoulders, arms, hands and fingers.
- Muscle weakness in certain muscles.
Pain often starts slowly and may worsen with certain movements or during
certain parts of the day.
Because each patient is different and because other conditions can mimic
cervical radiculopathy, the diagnosis begins with gathering the medical
history of the patient and identifying their symptoms. If needed, nerve
conduction studies and electromyography can be done to help localize the
MRI may also be done to verify the condition. Because no two patients are the
same, the diagnostic tests would be specifically tailored to each patient.