Low back pain or neck pain that spreads into the arm, chest, and/or shoulders can be symptoms of cervical radiculopathy. While some people feel constant tingling or a dull ache, others feel a burning or pulsating pain that may cause them to be unable to move. If one of the nerve roots near the cervical vertebrae is compressed, damage can be done to the nerve and cause it to function improperly.
Nerve damage can occur as a result of a ruptured disc, arthritis, degenerative changes in the bones, or other injuries that put pressure on the nerve roots. Spinal bones are separated by discs that are there to cushion the spinal column and put space between the vertebrae to allow people to reach and move. If one or more of these discs are damaged, pressure is put on the spinal nerves which result in pain, numbness, and weakness.
Cervical radiculopathy may be treated with a combination of pain medications and physical therapy. Corticosteroids, powerful anti-inflammatory drugs) or non-steroidal pain medication like ibuprofen may be prescribed to alleviate the pain associated with cervical radiculopathy. Steroids may be prescribed orally or as injections. Injected steroids are put in epidurally into the space that surrounds the spinal cord. Physical therapy may be done at home through exercises that a doctor can teach a patient to do. With consistent and careful administration, at home physical therapy can be highly successful for patients with mild cervical radiculopathy. However, if significant compression on the nerves exists, doctors may feel the need to relieve the pressure surgically.
Talk to your spine doctor about any radiating pain that you have in your neck, arms, or shoulders.
Posted on behalf of Armin Oskouei