Cervical radiculopathy is when one of the nerve roots near the cervical vertebrae is compressed and causes damage or disturbance to nerve function. Depending on where the damage is it can cause pain and loss of sensation in the arm and hand.
What causes cervical radiculopathy?
Aging and injuries can cause the degenerative changes that cause cervical radiculopathy.
Degenerative changes occur in middle-aged people from aging or repetitive movements. These changes can be known as arthritis or spondylosis. The way it works is as the spine ages, it loses height. This causes the vertebrae to move closer together, which produces more bone to strengthen it, also known as bone spurs. Bone spurs are responsible for producing stiffness in the spine and can inevitably lead to a cervical radiculopathy.
Usually the cause for younger people, a herniated disc puts pressure on the sensitive nerve, which causes pain and weakness. It can be caused by a sudden injury from lifting, pulling bending or twisting.
What are the symptoms of cervical radiculopathy?
The pain from cervical radiculopathy starts at the neck and ends in the arm near the location of the damaged nerve. Patients have reported the pain as a burning sensation or sharpness, especially when making neck movements. Other symptoms are:
- Tingling in the fingers or hand
- Muscle weakness in the arm, shoulder or hand
- Loss of sensation
Why use chiropractic care for a cervical radiculopathy?
Treatment for a cervical radiculopathy can range from no treatment at all to surgery, depending on the severity. Chiropractic care offers a non-invasive and drug-free method to treating symptoms.
A study that treated a 60-year old women with chiropractic care on a daily basis found that her pain from cervical radiculopathy was completely gone by week three. This makes chiropractic care a reasonable alternative to medications and surgery and something a person with cervical radiculopathy can use.