Cervical Radiculopathy

Cervical radiculopathy or “pinched nerve” as it is often called, is a condition that can cause pain, numbness or tingling down the arm and into the hand. If severe enough, weakness may also be seen in various muscles of the upper extremity. It is caused by compression of one of the spinal nerves in the neck, either by one of the cervical discs or by bony spurs that can result from the degenerative process of the discs themselves. This condition can be diagnosed by a thorough history, physical examination and an MRI of the cervical spine. An EMG, a test which examines the nerves and muscles of the hand and arm, can also be helpful in determining if there is any damage to the nerves or muscles resulting from the compression. Treatment for this condition may consist of medication, physical therapy, epidural steroid injections, and possibly surgery.