Cervical pinched nerve, also called cervical radiculopathy or nerve root impingement, refers to neck pain that radiates to the shoulder and arm as a result of injury or compression of the spinal nerve root. The condition is more common in adults and elderly individuals and rare among young people.
The cervical spine begins at the base of the skull and comprises the first seven vertebrae of the neck and eight pairs of nerve roots. Each of the nerve roots control movement and sensation in different parts of the arms and upper body.
When a nerve is irritated or pinched, it can cause severe pain and discomfort.
A cervical pinched nerve can be caused by a slipped or herniated disc, bone spurs (osteophytes), spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease. If left untreated, it may lead to permanent nerve damage.
The most common symptoms of a pinched nerve include neck pain that travels down the arms and shoulders, difficulty lifting things, headache, and muscle weakness and numbness or tingling in fingers or hands.
Treatment of a cervical pinched nerve will depend on the extent of your symptoms and how long you have had them. The cervical spine specialists at Lancaster Orthopedic Group offer a wide range of therapies and treatments for neck and spine problems and can help relieve your symptoms.
Conservative treatment options for a cervical pinched nerve include anti-inflammatory and pain medications, muscle relaxants, spinal injections, physical therapy, braces to support the spine, traction, and acupuncture.
Surgery may be recommended for patients with persistent pain, spinal instability or neurological dysfunction.