Let’s take a look at cervical radiculopathy.
Cervical radiculopathy is a disease process marked by nerve compression, typically from herniated disc material or arthritic bone spurs in the neck. Cervical radiculopathy symptoms typically include pain, weakness, or numbness in the areas served by the affected nerve. Pain can be felt in one area only, like the shoulder, or progress along the entire arm and into the hand and fingers – in the same way that knocking your “funny bone” causes symptoms at the site, and further along the length of the ulnar nerve.
The type of pain also can vary, with some patients describing a dull, general pain. However, others describe the pain as severe burning, sharp, or knife-like. Patients may feel pins-and-needles tingling, which can also be accompanied by numbness. Experiencing numbness or weakness in the hand can also affect the ability to grip or lift objects, as well as to perform other daily tasks such as writing, typing, or getting dressed.
Certain neck movements, such as bending the neck back, side to side, or rotating it, may increase the pain. Some patients report that pain decreases when they place a hand behind their head; the movement may be relieving the pressure and traction on the nerve root, which in turn lessens their symptoms.
Cervical radiculopathy is not the only condition that can present like this; with other nerve entrapment sites such as carpal tunnel syndrome, or thoracic outlet syndrome potentially sounding very similar when summarised.
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