What are some cervical radiculopathy symptoms?


Quick Answer

Symptoms of cervical radiculopathy include sharp pain that travels down the arm, a "pins and needles" feeling, complete numbness and weakness while engaging in some activities, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Symptoms may worsen by extending to the neck, straining the neck or turning the head. WebMD reveals other symptoms are pain in the chest, neck and shoulders, along with a lack of coordination in the hands.

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Full Answer

The AAOS explains that cervical radiculopathy is a pinched nerve near the root of the spinal column in the neck that causes shoulder and arm pain. The pain starts in the neck and travels along the pinched nerve into other parts of the upper body. The location of the pain depends on which nerve is pinched between vertebrae in the spine, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Treatments for cervical radiculopathy include soft collars that relax neck muscles, physical therapy, medications and surgery. The AAOS states that medications for pinched nerves are aspirin, ibuprofen, oral corticosteroids, narcotics and injectable steroids. The type of medication and the length of time it is taken depend on the pain level of patients.

Cervical radiculopathy occurs when a nerve root near the spinal cord is pinched between two pieces of bone. As disks degenerate naturally over time, the human body compensates to protect a possible weakness with the collapsed disk by creating bone spurs that surround the disk. Sometimes, these bone spurs narrow and pinch a nerve in the spine, according to the AAOS.

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