Cervical radiculopathy is often referred to as a pinched nerve in the neck. The pain can radiate from the neck to the shoulder, shoulder blade, arm, and hand. This occurs when a nerve root coming off of the spinal cord becomes compressed. The cervical spine consists of seven cervical vertebrae. Each vertebra is separated by a gel-like disc that provides shock absorption from the spine. Spinal nerves can be impinged by arthritis, disc wear-and-tear with age, herniated or bulging discs from trauma or degeneration, spinal stenosis, or tumors impinging the nerve root. When spinal nerves are impinged they cannot send correct messages to the muscle from the brain. Therefore if a nerve is pinched in the neck it can cause pain, weakness, loss of sensation in the arm. Symptoms include; pain in the neck, shoulder blade, upper chest, and arm, sharp, pins-and-needles, popping sensation in the neck region or a general dull ache or numbness anywhere along the pathway of the nerve. People may describe weakness in the shoulder, arm, or hand and may have pain that worsens with certain neck movements. Physical and Occupational Therapy can help reduce symptoms, alleviate acute neck and arm symptoms, improve strength, range of motion, and overall function. Call the clinic today to see how we can help!
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