Cervical Nerve Root Entrapment

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Spine Conditions

Spine Physicians

Michael P. St. Onge
Marc P. Oliveri

Cervical nerve root entrapment, also known as cervical radiculopathy, is a condition that results when a nerve root is pinched or irritated as it exits the spine in the neck.

The most common causes of nerve root entrapment include:

  • Cervical herniated disc: This condition, which can place pressure on the nerves, is often the most likely cause of cervical nerve root entrapment in a younger person (20s or 30s)
  • Cervical spinal stenosis: This condition is a common cause of cervical radiculopathy symptoms in people over age 60.
  • Cervical degenerative disc disease: This condition is a result of wear on the intervertebral disc and is a common cause of cervical nerve root compression in people over age 50.

Cervical nerves and nerve roots provide sensation and motor control to the neck, shoulder, arm, and down to the hand. Any kind of compression or irritation can cause pain, weakness, tingling, and/or numbness. Other common symptoms include muscle spasms, impairment of normal reflexes, and loss of motion, such as the inability to bend backward or turn the head.

The cervical spine specialists at Lancaster Orthopedic Group provide comprehensive services for all musculoskeletal conditions and offer a spectrum of treatment options designed to get you back to the activities you enjoy.

The majority of patients with cervical nerve root entrapment benefit from conservative treatment, which includes rest, ice, anti-inflammatory and pain medications, muscle relaxants, spinal injections, and physical therapy. If nonsurgical treatments are not providing pain relief, surgery may be considered to decompress the nerves and relieve the pressure.

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