From Diagnosis to Recovery: Managing A Pinched Nerve in The Neck
Cervical radiculopathy is often known as a pinched nerve because it produces pain similar to pinching. The pain level may increase sharply while moving the head in any direction or extending the neck. Many people even feel “pins and needles” in their fingers or hands. If you want to know what causes cervical radiculopathy and if there is there a cure for cervical radiculopathy, then keep reading!
About Cervical Radiculopathy
Cervical radiculopathy is a condition that occurs when one or more of the nerve roots in the cervical spine (neck) are damaged or irritated. This can lead to pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the neck, shoulder, arm, and hand.
Causes of Cervical Radiculopathy
If you have developed cervical radiculopathy, you must be wondering what factors lead to the development of this disease. In the following paragraphs, you will explore the reasons for your neck nerve pain.
Herniated or bulging disc: One of the most common causes of cervical radiculopathy is a herniated or bulging disc in the spine. The discs in the spine act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae. If a disc herniates or bulges, it can put pressure on a nerve root, leading to cervical radiculopathy. It is more likely to occur in people with jobs or hobbies requiring repetitive neck motions or in those who have suffered sudden trauma to the neck.
Degenerative changes: As we age, the discs in the spine can degenerate, leading to the formation of bone spurs. These bone spurs can put pressure on the nerve roots, causing cervical radiculopathy. This condition is more common in older adults and people with a family degenerative disc disease history.
Trauma: A whiplash injury or other trauma to the neck can cause cervical radiculopathy. In these cases, the trauma can cause damage to the nerve roots in the neck, leading to symptoms of cervical radiculopathy.
Autoimmune disorders: Rarely, autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus can cause cervical radiculopathy. In these cases, the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues, including the nerve roots in the neck. This can lead to symptoms of cervical radiculopathy.
You can opt for treatment for cervical radiculopathy, such as cervical collars, pain relief medication, and physical therapy to relieve pressure on the affected nerve root. It’s important to note that other conditions can cause similar symptoms to cervical radiculopathy, so getting a proper diagnosis from a healthcare professional is important. Let’s dig deeper into the ways through which you can permanently relieve the cervical pain:
Pain relief medications: Over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Your doctor may also prescribe stronger pain medication if the pain is severe.
Physical therapy: A physical therapist can develop an exercise program to help improve neck mobility, strength, and flexibility. They may also use exercises or manual therapy to help relieve muscle tension and improve function.
Corticosteroid injections: Your doctor may recommend corticosteroid injections into the affected area to help reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
Traction therapy: In this therapy, you can use a traction device to gently massage your neck, which can help relieve pressure on the affected nerve root. You can use a traction device to practice this at home, one of the best ones in the market that is known as a cervical device. It works with ultrasonic far-infrared heat technology that penetrates deeper into your skin to decompress the affected nerve.
As with proper treatment, many people with cervical radiculopathy can manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. Hence, these are the treatment options you can incorporate into your routine as a cure for the pinched nerve in the neck. However, it is also important to consult your healthcare professional to develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and condition.