Hey Plainfield, you ever have a pain in your neck? No I’m not talking about your husband/wife or children, but an actual pain like a pinched nerve that may also feel like it’s traveling down your arm? Well there is actually a scientific word/cause for that pain called cervical radiculopathy. It’s when a nerve root in the cervical spine becomes damaged or inflamed causing change to your neurological function. Some neurological deficits like numbness, weakness and altered reflexes can be experienced anywhere from the neck into the shoulder, arm or fingers.
You may be wondering now how this even comes about. Well, there are eight cervical nerve roots (C1-C8) that branch out from the spinal cord and exit at both sides of the spinal canal. They branch out even further to supply muscles that carry out the function of the shoulders, arms, hands and fingers. So, the most common causes of these nerve roots becoming damaged or inflamed are due to nearby bone spurs (bony projections) or herniated discs that are from degeneration over time or injury. Less common causes could be from infection or tumors.
Lastly, but most importantly, you would want to know how to treat this kind of pain in your neck. Luckily there is a wide range of treatment options. Ultimately it will depend mainly on the underlying cause and severity of the signs and symptoms. Some nonsurgical treatment options are rest or limiting strenuous activity, physical therapy, medications, cervical steroid injection or seeing a chiropractor to manually adjust the cervical spine with the goal of improving mobility. Many people find optimal relief with a combination of treatment options.