What is Cervical Radiculopathy?

This is a painful condition where pain radiates from the neck to upper limb. The pain could be localized to the back of the head, neck, between the shoulder blades, shoulder or it could radiate down the arm, forearm into the fingers. Nature of pain could be burning, or sharp shooting pain. It may present as cold or touch intolerance in some cases. Pain may be associated with pins and needles sensation or electric shock-like sensation in the area supplied by the trapped nerve. Weakness in the function of the muscles may present as a predominant symptom in few cases.

The nerves controlling the function of the arms originate from the Spinal cord in the neck.  These nerves could be trapped between the prolapsed disc and bone or the reduced space for the nerve roots secondary to arthritis is the main reason for this painful dysfunction in the majority of the cases. Consequently, the patient may present with above-mentioned symptoms in the distribution of the pinched nerve. Other painful disorders which mimic the cervical radiculopathy include Carpal tunnel syndrome, Cubital tunnel syndrome, double crush syndrome, Viral infections like Herpes and Shoulder and elbow disorders. However, careful clinical assessment by your Doctor is essential in diagnosing the problem accurately and directing you in the right direction.

Will my Radiculopathy gets worse over time?

Research has shown 30% of patients have mild symptoms and 25% have severe and worsening symptoms.

When to request Medical help?

Severe uncontrolled pain

Associated weakness in the muscles

Night pain, loss of weight/ Appetite

Loss of coordination, balance, functional disability ( Myelopathy)

Please see the treatment page for further information

The information displayed on this page not suitable for commercial or litigation benefits. This is mainly to create general awareness about Cervical radiculopathy. Please consult your Doctor for individualised treatment.