Cervical radiculopathy is a condition that impacts approximately 83 individuals per 100,000 in the United States. It is most commonly observed in people between 45 and 64. This disorder affects the nerve roots in the cervical spinal column and can result in distressing or incapacitating neurological symptoms that extend to the shoulder, arm, and hand.
Suppose you suspect that you have cervical radiculopathy. In that case, it’s important to note that conservative treatment options, such as upper cervical chiropractic, can often relieve and make surgery unnecessary except in extreme cases. Nevertheless, understanding how this condition can impact you and exploring potential solutions can be beneficial.
How does cervical radiculopathy affect your daily function?
Medical professionals use the term “radiculopathy” to describe the dysfunction of a spinal nerve root. This condition can occur in the back or neck, depending on the specific location of the affected nerve root.
The spinal nerve roots originate from the spinal cord and extend outward to connect with the major nerves in the body. These major nerves then branch out into numerous smaller nerves responsible for transmitting signals to different body parts. In the case of cervical nerve roots, they play a crucial role in facilitating the transmission of nerve signals between the spinal cord and the upper extremities (such as the arms and hands).
When a cervical nerve root is compressed or injured, its ability to transmit nerve signals is compromised. This interruption in regular communication can impact the comfort and functionality of the nerves supplied by the affected nerve root. Consequently, you may experience symptoms in your shoulder, arm, hand, or fingers due to this impingement.
Symptoms of cervical radiculopathy typically manifest in a single extremity at a time, as the impingement usually affects a specific nerve root on one side of the cervical spine. These symptoms commonly include pain, sensory loss, tingling sensations, and declining muscle strength or coordination.