Cervical Radiculopathy Symptoms

Cervical radiculopathy happens when a nerve in the neck is pinched and this is often cause by a herniated disc or bone spur which is pressing on the inflamed nerve root. Most of the time, this situation leads to degenerative changes in the neck.

The nerve that comes from the spinal cord in the neck travels down into the arm. This nerve is the one responsible for the sensations that you feel from your shoulders down to your fingers. They are also the ones that carry the electrical signals to muscles which are responsible in moving the fingers, hands as well as the arms. Problems starts whenever one of these nerves is pinched by a bone spur or herniated disc. One may experience pain, numbness and weakness in parts of the body where the nerve travels. This condition is what they refer as cervical radiculopathy.

Cervical radiculopathy symptoms usually spread away from the neck although the problem is really in the neck. Symptoms of such condition are usually experience where the nerve runs that is mostly in the arm, shoulder and hand. By pointing out where the symptoms occur, the physician can readily tell which nerve in the neck is affected. Symptoms of such condition generally include the following;


One of the most common symptoms of cervical radiculopathy is pain which is due to the pressure in the spine. Pain can be a dull throb or a sharp shooting pain. This pain can affect the shoulders, arms, neck and even the chest.

Tingling Sensation

Cervical Radiculopathy also manifests with tingling feeling or sensation in the fingers and hands.


Another common symptom next to pain is numbness in the neck, hands, fingers as well as the arms. The parts of the body affected depend on how severe the compression is.

Weakness in the Arms and Hands

Another symptom for cervical radiculopathy is lack of strength or weakness in the arms and hands.

There are a lot of treatment options for those who suffers from cervical radiculopathy. The first option that doctors always recommend is the conservative treatment which may include medications to manage the pain, muscle spasm, inflammation as well as sleep problem as a result of cervical radiculopathy.

Other options of treatment include the use of cervical collar to provide support and limit activities of the neck while healing. Another is cervical pillow which can help alleviates the pain and lets you sleep better. Of course not to forget physical therapy and if all the above mentioned and any other option does not work then you may have an epidural steroid injection. This is usually the last option if all of the conservative treatments fail to work.

A study is conducted regarding cervical radiculopathy and the study shows a good future with chiropractic as well as manual therapy techniques in managing cervical radiculopathy. However it is recommended that larger studies should be made for cervical radiculopathy(Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2003).

If conservative treatment does not work then it is time to move on further to a more advance treatment option and that is surgery. This is often recommended by doctors whenever their patient experience pain that is disabling and does not respond to any medical management; severe weakness that is advancing, spinal cord compression and bladder or bowel problems.