Do you have pain that shoots down your arm when you move your head? If so, odds are you’re suffering from cervical radiculopathy, or a pinched nerve. At River City Pain Management in San Antonio, Arnold DeLeon, MD, is well versed in helping his patients manage this common condition so they can find relief from the debilitating pain cervical radiculopathy causes. If you’d like to learn more, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
Cervical radiculopathy, which is commonly known as a pinched nerve, occurs when a nerve in your neck is irritated or compressed. The problem with this condition is that the symptoms aren’t just local and can radiate down your shoulder and arm.
While pain is most often associated with a pinched nerve, you may also experience numbness or tingling in your upper extremities.
One of the leading causes of cervical radiculopathy is simple wear-and-tear. Your neck is comprised of seven small vertebrae that make up your cervical spine. In between each of these vertebrae are discs made up of a tough exterior and a jelly-like interior that provide essential cushioning in between your vertebrae.
Over time, your discs begin to wear down and lose moisture, which makes them vulnerable to rupture or bulging. When this happens, they can irritate the nerve roots in the area. On top of this, when your vertebrae begin to compress together, bone spurs may form, which is your body’s way of making up for the loss of strength in your spine. These spurs can also irritate your nerves.
Outside of degenerative conditions, an acute injury may also cause your disc to rupture, which can lead to cervical radiculopathy.
If you’re experiencing neck pain that radiates down your shoulder and arm, Dr. DeLeon starts by ordering diagnostic imaging so he has a better idea of what’s causing the pinched nerve. Once he locates the problem, he comes up with a treatment plan that alleviates your pain and restores your freedom of movement. This plan may include:
Often, Dr. DeLeon recommends a combination of treatments to improve your outcome and get you back to pain-free movement as quickly as possible. If your disc is severely compromised and resists treatment, Dr. DeLeon may recommend surgery to trim away the parts of the disc that are irritating your nerve.
If you have a pinched nerve, or cervical radiculopathy, call River City Pain Management or schedule an appointment online today for expert help from a fellowship-trained pain management specialist.