CERVICAL RADICULOPATHY (PINCHED NERVE)
Cervical radiculopathy is often referred to as a pinched nerve in the neck. It is characterized by radiating pain from the neck to the shoulder, shoulder blade, arm, or hand. Weakness and lack of coordination in the arm and hand can also occur. Athletes, heavy laborers, and workers who use vibrating machinery are commonly affected. People who sit for long periods of time, or individuals with arthritis in the cervical (neck) region can also be affected. Most cases of cervical radiculopathy are resolved with physical therapy and do not require surgery. Pain and weakness are the most common symptoms of cervical radiculopathy. The pain usually travels from the neck down the arm in the area of the involved nerve. Pain is usually described as sharp but you can also experience a “pins and needles” sensation or even complete numbness. In addition, there may be a feeling of weakness with certain activities. Symptoms can be worsened with certain movements, like extending or straining the neck or turning the head. These symptoms are often made better by placing the hand on the head and stretching the shoulder.