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Cervical radiculopathy is best described as a disease that is characterised by nerve compression occurring from herniated disk material and/or arthritic bone spurs. Cervical radiculopathy primarily leads to radiating pain in the neck and arm or numbness, sensory deficits and motor dysfunction in the neck and upper body.
What is cervical radiculopathy?
Cervical radiculopathy also referred to as pinched nerve is basically the damage or disturbance of nerve function due to the compression of the nerve roots near the cervical vertebrae. Damage to the cervical area nerve roots result in substantial pain and loss of feeling along the nerve’s pathway into the arm and hand.
Types of Cervical Radiculopathy:
Cervical radiculopathy is classified according to the site of the nerve damage that is disturbed or damaged and the area of the pain caused. The various types of cervical radiculopathy are;
Cervical Radiculopathy Symptoms:
The cervical radiculopathy symptoms vary depending on the nerve affected or damaged. The primary cervical radiculopathy symptoms are a radiating pain in the arm, neck, chest, upper back and the shoulders. The other symptoms of cervical radiculopathy include muscle weakness and numbness, tingling sensation in the fingers and hand and lack of coordination in the hands.
Cervical radiculopathy causes:
There are several cervical radiculopathy causes. The varied nerve roots in cervical area can be compressed by various ways, like –
-Disc Herniation: A disc herniation is one of the main cervical radiculopathy causes. It is the protruding of the nucleus (central part of the disc) through a tear in the annulus (outer ring of the disc). This protruding nucleus puts a lot of pressure on the nerves resulting in inflammation of the nerve roots and leading to cervical radiculopathy.
-Cervical Spinal Stenosis – Cervical spinal stenosis is primarily responsible for affecting people over 60 years of age with cervical radiculopathy.
-Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease – It is one of the major factors behind cervical radiculopathy in people over 50 years of age.
-Bone Spurs: Bone spurs are the result of arthritis or degenerative changes. The bone spurs causes irritation to the nerve and result in cervical radiculopathy.
The first step of a cervical radiculopathy diagnosis is a physical exam by the doctor. The physical examination will include neurological tests to assess sensory changes, strength changes and reflexes. The other diagnostic tools used in the diagnosis process are radiographs, Cervical MRI, cervical X –rays, Electrophysiologic studies and EMG of the arm.
Cervical Radiculopathy Treatment:
There are plenty of Cervical Radiculopathy Treatments that offer cure for cervical radiculopathy, depending upon the severity of the pain, symptoms duration and the degree of any abnormal findings in the diagnosis exam. The various Cervical Radiculopathy Treatments made available are;
-Medications – Medications is the first step in Cervical Radiculopathy Treatment, non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are primarily prescribed to reduce inflammation, control pain, and manage muscle spasms due to cervical radiculopathy.
-Cervical Radiculopathy Physiotherapy – Cervical Radiculopathy Physiotherapy plays an integral part in the Cervical Radiculopathy Treatment. Cervical Radiculopathy Physiotherapy is primarily aimed at helping the patient in reducing and managing the pain and inflammation, increasing mobility, and improving stability and strength. Physical therapists design specific Cervical Radiculopathy exercises and use many different techniques like – cervical traction, manual manipulation, ultrasound, electric stimulation and dry needling to bring a little cervical radiculopathy relief. Cervical Radiculopathy Physiotherapy is often administered in conjunction with varied Cervical Radiculopathy Treatments. Doctors recommend daily Cervical Radiculopathy Physiotherapy sessions in order to bring rapid cervical radiculopathy relief. Regular practice of cervical radiculopathy exercises has proven its effectiveness in the treatment of cervical radiculopathy.
-Steroid Injection: Cortisone injections are administered to control the symptoms and bring relief in the pain due to cervical radiculopathy, when other medications and cervical radiculopathy remedies have not proven effective.
-Surgery – Surgery is the last step in the cure for cervical radiculopathy and is recommended if the symptoms have not responded well to conservative treatments and cervical radiculopathy physical therapy or when there is major neurological damage. There are two types of surgical procedures used in the treatment of cervical radiculopathy namely – Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF) and Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Disc Replacement (ACDR).
Cervical radiculopathy home treatment:
The various cervical radiculopathy remedies one can undertake as part of cervical radiculopathy home treatment are;
-Ample sleep and rest
-Yoga and stretching exercises
-Massage and physical therapy
-Wearing a splint
-Heat and Ice packs
-Elevating legs while sleeping, resting or sitting
-Use of ergonomic work station and chairs
Movement in the slightest of its form can cause pain in the conditions of cervical radiculopathy and as such patients are advised to take ample rest at home. To foster the rapid treatment of cervical radiculpathy, leading at home health care provider Portea offers the best nursing and healthcare services at your door step. So whether you need assistance in daily at home care or cervical radiculopathy physical therapy you can count on us to bring you the best cervical radiculopathy treatment at home. Our physiotherapists offer customised cervical radiculopathy exercises that suits your condition and aids your recovery.
Patients having undergone surgery for cervical radiculopathy also require cervical radiculopathy treatment at home for effective rehabilitation and success of the surgery. So if you need cervical radiculopathy treatment at home just give us a call and our health professionals will be at your step in a short time.