Understanding Your Cervical Radiculopathy Diagnosis

Feb 08, 2023
Cervical Radiculopathy
You might feel a little confused if you’ve just received a cervical radiculopathy diagnosis. Even pronouncing it is a mouthful. Simply put, cervical radiculopathy is a pinched nerve in your neck. Learn more about what this means.

Cervical radiculopathy is a condition that causes significant neck pain and weakness. While the name is a mouthful, the condition is simply a pinched nerve in your neck. 

Most cases of cervical radiculopathy resolve on their own with time. In some cases, however, you may require medical intervention to relieve your pain. 

At HAAS Spine & Orthopaedics in Glendale, Santa Ana, and Upland, California, Stepan Kasimian, MD, provides specialized care for people who have cervical radiculopathy. 

Learn more about cervical radiculopathy and what a diagnosis means for you. 

What is cervical radiculopathy?

Cervical radiculopathy, which is commonly called a pinched nerve, is caused by the inflammation and compression of nerve roots in your neck. It results in significant pain, weakness, and sometimes numbness. 

It’s also relatively common, with 85 in 100,000 people diagnosed with cervical radiculopathy annually. 

A pinched nerve may be caused by disc herniation, injury, or degenerative conditions like cervical spondylosis. 

Signs of cervical radiculopathy

Cervical radiculopathy can affect your arms, shoulders, chest, and upper back. Common signs of a pinched nerve include: 

  • Numbness 
  • A tingling sensation 
  • A sharp or burning pain 
  • Increased pain when you move your neck 
  • Muscle weakness 
  • Loss of sensation 

Cervical radiculopathy is a highly individual condition, which means people exhibit symptoms differently. If you have one or a combination of the above symptoms, contact Dr. Stepan Kasimian as soon as possible. 

How is cervical radiculopathy diagnosed?

A pinched nerve is just one of several possible causes of neck pain. Make an appointment with Dr. Kasimian for a definite diagnosis.

During your appointment, Dr. Kasimian asks you about your medical and family history. You should also share any symptoms you’ve been exhibiting and whether you’ve had any recent injuries that could affect your cervical spine. 

Dr. Kasimian then performs a physical exam on you. He checks for any signs of weakness or delayed reflexes. Many conditions that cause neck pain mimic the symptoms of cervical radiculopathy, making a diagnosis challenging. 

Aside from the physical exam, Dr. Kasimian is also likely to administer tests such as a computed tomography (CT) scan, X-rays, and a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam to rule out any other conditions. 

Treatment for cervical radiculopathy

The good news is that cervical radiculopathy often resolves on its own with time. If you have severe and persistent symptoms, Dr. Kasimian may recommend a combination of medication and physical therapy.

Medication typically includes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), painkillers, and oral corticosteroids. If your condition persists, he may recommend surgery. 

Request an appointment online or call us at 818-500-9286 today to get treatment for your pinched nerve.