Most episodes of mild neck pain can be attributed to muscle strain or postural imbalance and resolve within several weeks. In contrast, cervical radiculopathy can be chronic and sometimes recalcitrant to treatment.
Cervical radiculopathy, or “pinched nerve,” refers to irritation or inflammation of one of the cervical nerve roots. Although the problem originates in the nerve root, the pain radiates away from the source, causing painful symptoms in the shoulder, arm or hand. In addition, neck pain and headaches in the back of the head are common with this condition. The number of nerve roots affected can vary, and symptoms may present on one or both sides of the body. Spine disorders that contribute to the development of cervical radiculopathy include:
Depending upon the extent of nerve irritation or injury, symptoms may vary. The most common symptom is pain that starts in the neck and travels down to the arm(s). Other symptoms include:
Saint Barnabas Medical Center
Formerly St. Luke’s-Roosevelt
Hospital in Manhattan
Formerly Lenox Hill Hospital