Cervical Pinched Nerve

Cervical radiculopathy is another name for cervical pinched nerve. This condition happens when a nerve in the neck is pinched or irritated at the base of the spinal canal. The pain usually spread down to the shoulder, arm and even down to the hand. There are different causes of Cervical radiculopathy but the most common causes is the bone spur or herniated disc which pushes against the irritated nerve root. The pain from pinched cervical nerves can be disabling.

Causes of Cervical Pinched Nerve

The condition really starts when one of the nerves is irritated or inflamed and is compressed and this either due to bone spur or herniated disc. DDD or Degenerative Disc Disease is the most common cause of bone spurs to form at the nerve roots. When gets bigger they begin to compress the nerve root.

With cervical pinch nerve, a lot of tension and pressure is present on the vertebra when the neck moves. A compression on the disc between the vertebrae is present. The problem really begins when the center part of the disc bulges out resulting to a lot of pressure in the nerves of the neck. This is known as herniated disc and this often causes weakness and numbness along the nerve. This problem often occurs with adults although it can happen too with children in some instances.

Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Pinched Nerve

Most of the signs and symptoms start with pain, numbness and weakness in the area where the nerve travels. Each patient differs in the severity of pain that they experience. It can be a dull or achy. It can also be sharp or shooting pain along the path of the nerve. Most of the time the muscles that are affected with this nerve also weakens. The doctor will look at the symptoms and will be able to identify which nerve is affected.

Other symptoms includes irritated nerve root due to herniated disc which actually cause pain in the upper arm, neck and shoulder. It also exhibits symptoms of bone spurs which includes weakness and numbness in the arm and neck-pain. Headaches at the back of the head are also one cause of cervical pinched nerve.

Cervical Pinched Nerve Treatment

Treatment really depends on the cause of the condition. Pain medications or Pain killers are given to control muscle spasm, pain, sleep disturbance and inflammation. A brace or cervical collar can be prescribed to give support of the neck and limit the motion while the neck is healing.

Another method of treatment is physical therapy. A patient may undergo a rehabilitation program which can help the patient in improving strength and mobility. There are also exercises for cervical pinched nerve patient.

Manual therapy is another treatment option and study shows that manual therapy is much more effective or superior to drugs and exercise in dealing with neck pain or cervical pinched nerves (BMJ 2003).

If the above treatment fails then surgery is your only option and it takes about twelve weeks to heal the nerve after the surgery. And in the course of healing the patient have to wear a brace to support the neck.

It is important then to prevent such condition to happen to you. Surgery is such an undesirable thing but you do not have other choice if conventional method does not work. It is better then to take preventive measures to prevent this condition.