Cervical Radiculopathy

Neck pain from an injury or irritation to a nerve’s root in the neck as it exits from the vertebrae may radiate down the arm toward the right or left hand. Known as cervical radiculopathy, the condition could be caused by a narrow spinal canal or stenosis, or from a disc that is displaced and compressing the nerve. The intensity of pain varies dramatically, from a dull non-localized ache to a precise sharp and burning sensation. One can feel pain, weakness, or numbness in the shoulder, arm, wrist, or hand.

Signs and symptoms

  • Pain in neck, arms or hands
  • Numbness
  • Weakness

Why it hurts:

  • Pain from the nerve can radiate through the shoulder, arms, and hands. The nerve roots are branches of the spinal cord that carry signals to the rest of the body at each level along the spine. The pain is felt in the muscles, ligaments, joints, and skin served by the affected nerve root. Oftentimes, the chemicals contained within the disc may irritate the nerve.

Non-surgical treatment options

  • Relative rest
  • Physical therapy
  • Chiropractic treatment
  • Acupuncture
  • Pain management
  • Epidural steroid spinal injections
  • Local paraspinal injections