Cervical radiculopathy is defined as cervical nerve root compression. Many times, what causes this so-called compression is things like herniated disc material or arthritic bone spurs. It’s essentially the “sciatica” of the upper extremity. Common symptoms include neck and radiating arm pain which can travel all the way down into the fingers. Often, this pain is accompanied by sensory disturbances (i.e. pins-and-needles or burning sensations) and even loss of muscle function in more severe cases (muscle weakness and abnormal reflexes). Headaches, neck pain, and scapular pain can also accompany cervical radiculopathy. While not as common as sciatic nerve irritation (only a 0.4% prevalence rate), it can be just as debilitating and a significant cause of neck pain and disability. In this article, we will show you assessment and cervical radiculopathy treatment approaches that you and your physical therapist can employ to get you out of pain!
Do you have a headache after a whiplash injury? Do you experience pain that seems to start in the neck and then spread to one side of your head or arm? Does moving your head seem to start your headache or exacerbate your pain when you have a headache?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, there’s a high chance you have a type of headache known as a cervicogenic headache. Lucky for you, there’s an extremely qualified healthcare provider (ie a Physical Therapist) who can help alleviate your pain. In addition, we’ll show you some stellar cervicogenic headache exercises for you to try at home.
There is a huge misconception in the fitness and rehab worlds. Far too often, we label exercises as a good exercise or bad exercise for all athletes. Many preach that squats are a must in every athlete’s fitness program and exercises such as behind the neck press’ should never be performed…when in fact, many of these movements can be great for athletic performance. These beliefs are from years of dogma surrounding certain movements. But in reality, any exercise can be a bad exercise if an athlete lacks the requite mobility & motor control.
This article was originally published on The Barbell Physio.
Don’t Forget About Training The Deep Cervical Extensors!
Mike is currently in China learning from the godfather of the Clinical Practice Guidelines himself, Dr. Joe Godges. Here a great exercise for your patients with neck pain, especially those with whiplash induced neck pain, that targets not just the deep cervical flexors, but also the deep cervical extensors! Pay close attention to the cueing, as activation of the deep cervical extensors should be emphasized at selected spinal levels for the management of segmental dysfunction. […]