Jonathan Aarons M.D.

Tired of Chronic Pain?

Cervical Radiculopathy

Cervical Radiculopathy
Cervical Radiculopathy

 

Cervical radiculopathy is an irritation of the nerve roots as they exit from the spinal chord.  The patient with cervical radiculopathy will complain of neck pain, radiating down the arm.  The pain may be associated with neurological symptoms, such as numbness, tingling or weakness in the affected area controlled by that nerve.  Muscle spasm and neck pain are common with this problem.  In severe cases, the spinal chord can also be compromised, causing lower extremity weakness as well as bowel and bladder problems.  The causes of cervical radiculopathy includes bulging or herniated discs, bone overgrowth in and around the spinal canal, narrowing of the spinal canal and the canal that the nerve travels in and tumor.  MRI of the cervical spine will accurately delineate the problem in most cases.  An electrical nerve and muscle test call an EMG/NCV can be useful to more accurately describe which nerve is the exact cause of the symptoms.  Other problems that may mimic cervical radiculopathy include bursitis, inflammatory arthritis and disorders of the cervical spine and spinal chord.  Treatment of cervical radiculopathy begins with conservative therapy.  This includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants and physical therapy.  In cases where conservative treatment fails, cervical epidural steroid injections may provide good relief of symptoms.

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