What Is Cervical Radiculopathy? What Are The Treatment Options?

Cervical radiculopathy is the type of condition showing neurological symptoms that result from a specific kind of condition relating to cervical spine. When the nerve of the cervical spine is irritated or compressed, there is acute pain. This disturbs nerve functioning and causes great discomfort. Cervical nerves play an important role in proper functioning of arms, shoulders, hands, fingers. Cervical nerves also carry sensory fiber to skin providing sensation. If any of the nerve roots get irritated or compressed due to some reasons, there will be pain, inflammation radiating along the nerve pathway. The pain will come and go and this is continuous. You will experience acute pain radiating from the nerve roots and then they subside. This is the most important symptom of radiculopathy.

What Is Cervical Radiculopathy What Are The Treatment Options

What are the causes of radiculopathy?

There can be several causes of radiculopathy. If the cervical nerve is irritated or compressed, there will be pain. Some of the reasons for this compression are:

  • It may happen that cervical disc suddenly leaks out to cause impingement and inflammation of adjacent nerves. Herniated disc is the leading cause of radiculopathy. People between 20-30 years can also suffer it.
  • Spinal Stenosis is again a common reason behind radiculopathy. People above 60 years of age mainly suffer from Spinal Stenosis. It results as the part of degeneration of cervical spine.
  • Cervical Disc disease is degenerative in nature that again may result to radiculopathy of cervical. The disc of the cervical spine degenerates and tends to become stiffer and flatter. As a result of this, the spine fails to get support. The condition may lead to impingement or inflammation of nervous root. This may show up after the age of 50 years or 60 years.

The various symptoms

Pain in the spine is the first and foremost symptom of radiculopathy. The pain can spread to shoulders, arm, neck and then moves to the upper back region. The one who suffers from radiculopathy tends to experience muscular weakness, tingling sensation in the hands and fingers. There may be lack of coordination at the back resulting from it.

What are the treatment options?

To get the maximum out of radiculopathy treatment, it is important to diagnose it at the earliest. This also applies to COPD treatment. Check out the below stated treatment options:

  • Pain due to radiculopathy may be addressed with a combination of medications. Corticosteroids are powerful anti-inflammatory and pain relief medication. There are several non-steroidal pain medicines available. Steroids can be either injected or administered orally.
  • Physical therapy may include cervical traction, cervical mobilization and certain exercises to reduce pain and discomfort.
  • If there is motor weakness resulting from compression of the nerves, there may be a need for surgery. Surgery may relieve pressure.

When there is dysfunctioning of nerve root belonging to cervical spine, the result is radiculopathy. The symptoms of this condition vary as per the specific nerve root which is impacted. The condition is also addressed as ‘pinched nerve’.

Other symptoms of radiculopathy

Apart from the already mentioned symptoms, there can be few others. The person can feel pins and needles all over the hand or fingers. To reduce pain, place the hand on top of the head. Most patients say that this reduces pain. Radiculopathy treatment and Bell’s Palsy treatment must be taken immediately for they are conditions of degenerative nature.