Cervical radiculopathy is a painful condition that occurs when the nerves in the cervical portion of the spine become compressed.
Symptoms are usually caused by a pinched or irritated nerve in the neck causing pain that radiates into the chest or arm area.
People who experience cervical radiculopathy typically feel pain, weakness or numbness in the areas served by the irritated or compressed nerve. You might experience pain in a single location, like the shoulder, or it can spread along the entire arm.
The intensity and kind of pain that comes with cervical radiculopathy can vary. Some of our patients at Comprehensive Orthopedic and Spine Care describe a dull and all-over pain; others describe the pain as severe or sharp.
Certain neck movements (bending or rotating the neck) may increase your pain. Some people report that pain decreases when they place a hand behind their head this may provide relief from the pressure on the nerve root which can lessen pain and irritation.
Cervical radiculopathy may be treated in a number of ways either conservatively, through exercise and stretching, or if your condition is severe or worsens, surgery might need to be considered.
If you're not able to find relief from your symptoms using conservative treatments like stretching, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication or steroid injections, Dr. Joseph Weinstein might recommend surgery to help decompress the spine and relieve pressure.
Surgical treatment options may include lamino-foraminotomy decompression, a procedure that uses minimally invasive techniques to expand the space in the spine by removing parts of the laminae and foramina within the vertebra.