By Dr Tony Setiobudi BMedSci, MBBS, MRCS, MMed (Ortho), FRCS (Ortho)
Do you feel pain that radiates into the arm and hand? This may be caused by nerve compression in the cervical spine or cervical spondylotic radiculopathy.
What is Cervical Radiculopathy?
Cervical Radiculopathy, commonly called a ‘Pinched Nerve”, occurs when a nerve in the neck is damaged or compressed. The damage to this nerve can cause pain and loss of sensation along the nerve’s pathway into the arm and hand, depending on where the damage nerve is located.
The common causes of the damage include:
- Spinal degeneration. Spinal degeneration occurs to everyone. It can cause people when it compresses the spinal cord or the nerve roots (the branches of the spinal cord)
- Slipped disc. When the disc prolapses backward, it can pinch the nerve
Symptoms of cervical radiculopathy may include:
- Sharp pain, pins and needles or tingling sensation to the neck, arm and fingers.
- Weakness in the shoulder, arm or hand.
- Pain that worsens with certain neck movements.
Some studies have shown that exercise or exercise combined with other treatments can effectively decrease pain and improve functional status. You can try exercise for a pinched nerve if your symptoms are mild.
Dr Tony Setiobudi is an Orthopaedic & Spine Surgeon at Mount Elizabeth Hospital (Orchard), Singapore. He treats bone, joint, muscle and ligament problems in adults and children. He has a special interest in nerve compression and spine problems such as back & neck pain, scoliosis, kyphosis, spine tumor & infection, spinal cord injury, osteoporosis fracture, spinal stenosis and slipped disc.