- Posted on: Feb 15 2017
You never want to go around compressing one of your nerves. This goes for cases from carpal tunnel syndrome to stenosis. You may not have heard of another case called cervical radiculopathy, but it can lead to chronic pain that can be quite debilitating.
We address the causes of radiculopathy at DFW Center for Spinal Disorders.
What is cervical radiculopathy?
Cervical radiculopathy is the term for the damage or disruption of nerve function when a nerve near the cervical vertebrae is compressed. This compression can affect the nerve roots in the area. This leads to pain and the loss of feeling and function in the arm and hand.
What causes radiculopathy?
Why this happens is often a matter of how old you age. In younger people, radiculopathy usually is a result of a ruptured disc, often due to trauma from a sports injury, car wreck, etc. The disc material leaves the disc and inflames the nerves in the area.
In older people, normal degenerative changes in the bones, arthritis, or other injuries can lead to radiculopathy. The forces keeping nerves from being compressed just aren’t as strong as they once were.
How do I know if I have radiculopathy?
Pain is the main symptom of radiculopathy. This is an upper back issue, and the pain radiates into the arm, neck, chest, upper back, and the shoulders. Beyond pain, there often is muscle weakness and numbness in the fingers or hands. The patient may also lose coordination in the hands as the radiculopathy worsens.
How we treat radiculopathy
At DFW Center for Spinal Disorders, our treatment for radiculopathy has two goals: to minimize the pain and to alleviate the compression. For the pain, we may use corticosteroids to reduce the inflammation. Sometimes steroids injected into space above the membrane that surrounds the spinal cord can be very effective. Physical therapy includes various exercises, even gentle cervical traction, and mobilization. If there is significant nerve compression that is leading to loss of function, we use surgery to relieve the compression.
If you have any of the symptoms of cervical radiculopathy, don’t hesitate to call the team at DFW, 817-916-4685. We’ll work on alleviating your pain.
Posted in: Cervical Radiculopathy