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.