Cervical Radiculopathy

Neurosurgeons located in Long Beach, CA
Cervical Radiculopathy

Cervical Radiculopathy services offered in Long Beach, CA

Cervical radiculopathy, better known as a pinched nerve in your neck, may appear with sudden, severe pain or begin with subtle pain that gradually worsens. No matter what symptoms you have, it’s important to get early treatment at Coast Neurosurgical Associates. They offer comprehensive care, beginning with conservative therapies before considering minimally invasive spine surgery. Don’t wait to get help for your pain. Request an appointment online or call the office in Long Beach, California, today.

Cervical Radiculopathy Q&A

What causes cervical radiculopathy?

Cervical radiculopathy occurs when a nerve in your neck (cervical spine) is pinched as it branches away from the spinal cord. When the nerves leave the spinal cord, they pass through small, bone-enclosed openings where they can get trapped or compressed.

You can end up with a pinched nerve after a traumatic injury or sports accident. The problem also develops as a result of natural degenerative changes that cause:

  • Herniated discs
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Facet joint osteoarthritis
  • Thickened ligaments
  • Bone spurs

These conditions protrude into the opening, pushing against the nerve and causing radiculopathy.

What symptoms occur if I have cervical radiculopathy?

The pinched nerve causes pain in your neck along with pain that radiates down your arm. The pain usually limits your neck movement.

You may also experience tingling in your arm, hand, or fingers. Or the opposite could happen: Your arm could turn numb as you lose sensation. 

Severe nerve damage may weaken your arm and hand muscles. As a result, you may have a weak grip and drop things.

How is cervical radiculopathy diagnosed?

Your Coast Neurosurgical Associates provider reviews your medical history and completes a physical examination. They evaluate muscle strength, test your reflexes, and determine if you have diminished sensation.

They may also need to get a CT scan or MRI to view the internal structures and identify the underlying reason for your pinched nerve. In some cases, they may need to test nerve function in your muscles.

How is cervical radiculopathy treated?

Many patients improve with nonsurgical treatments. Your treatment plan may include:

  • Soft cervical collar (for a short time to support healing)
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Physical therapy
  • Epidural steroid injection
  • Selective nerve injection
  • Facet joint injection

Injections may reduce the swelling long enough to help the nerve heal. If your pain persists after a few months of nonsurgical treatments, you may need minimally invasive spine surgery.

The team may recommend a procedure to eliminate the underlying cause. For example, they may remove a bone spur or damaged disc. After removing a disc, they either implant an artificial disc or perform a spinal fusion.

Your Coast Neurosurgical Associates provider may need to decompress the nerve, removing part of the bone or enlarging the opening so the nerve has more room.

You can get relief from neck pain. Call Coast Neurosurgical Associates or book an appointment online today.