Cervical radiculopathy stems from a compressed or inflamed nerve in the spine that results in pain and loss of sensation along the nerve's pathway into the arm and hands, according to WebMD. Treatment to relieve the pain includes medication, physical therapy and surgery.
Medications to treat cervical radiculopathy include anti-inflammatory drugs such as corticosteroids, nonsteroidal pain medications such as ibuprofen an naproxen or prescribed steroids, says WebMD. Physical therapy might be gentle cervical traction and mobilization, exercises and other such modes of pain relief. If the spinal compression is severe enough to cause motor weakness, surgery may be needed.
Cervical radiculopathy is caused by a ruptured disc, degenerative changes in bones, arthritis or any other injuries that put pressure on the nerve roots of the spine, explains WebMD. Middle-aged people generally experience pain from degenerative changes that cause disc material to put pressure on the nerve roots. Active young people are more likely to suffer from a ruptured disc.
The main symptom of cervical radiculopathy is pain felt throughout the arms, neck, chest, upper back and/or shoulders, continues WebMD. Sometimes there's muscle weakness and/or numbness or tingling in the hands and fingers. Lack of coordination, especially in the hands, is a common symptom.