Pinched nerve in neck (Cervical Radiculopathy) is a medical condition that causes so much discomfort in the neck, shoulder and arm region. This condition arises when a spinal nerve is subjected to compression or pressure.
Normally, nerves are protected by soft tissues, however, once they pass through hard tissues like ligaments, tendons and bones, they become susceptible to compression and pressure. The hard tissues exert excess pressure on the nerves leading to a nerve root injury. This injury in turn leads to pain in the neck region which sometimes extends to the shoulders and arms.
Pinched nerve in neck has a number of causes.
Herniated discs, arthritis and bone spurs are the common causes of this condition. The three medical conditions are the most common causes since they are classified as normal aging processes. As human beings age, spine discs and bone wear down, the changes in the two exert pressure on spinal nerves thus injuring them.
Aside from the above medical conditions, holding your body in the same position for an extended period of time often results in this condition. While sleeping for example, most people tend to maintain one sleeping position. Depending on your sleeping position, you may end up exerting too much pressure in one area of the body. This pressure is in turn exerted on the nerves around that area.
Pinched nerve in neck symptoms
Some people suffer from this condition without knowing it.
However, it is easy to know when to associate that sharp pain in your neck with a pinched nerve in neck. If the pain in your neck is accompanied by a tingling sensation, numbness, muscle spasms and weakness, burning sensation and pain when turning the head, chances are that you are suffering from this condition.
However, these symptoms vary from one individual to another; in some cases you may experience one of the above symptoms without the pain.
The treatment of this condition depends on the severity and cause.
Mild cases can be treated at home while severe cases need to be handled by qualified personnel.
It is recommended that you take plenty of rest to allow your body to heal itself naturally. Avoid moving your neck, arm and shoulders as this will worsen the pain and increase the swelling. Neck braces are recommended to aid you hold the neck muscles together.
In order to improve circulation in the affected area,subject the area to heat treatment. Introduce heat in the affected area using a heat pad, hot water bottle or take a hot shower .
Ice is for injuries — calming down damaged tissues that are inflamed, red, hot and swollen.
Heat is for muscles — taking the edge off the pain of whole muscle spasms and trigger points (localized spasms, or muscle knots).
In severe cases, sophisticated modes of treatment are used. These include:
1.Narcotics, steroids injections and oral corticosteroids are recommended for their anti swelling and anti inflammatory effects.
2.Physical therapy is used to strengthen the weakened muscles.
3.Surgery is the recommended when there is need to get rid of the tissues pressing unto the nerves.
Pinched nerve in neck is a condition that can affect anyone. It is important for you to understand this condition as this knowledge will equip you with the required skills to handle this condition when it occurs.