Cervical Radiculitis is a spinal disorder in which the nerve roots located in the upper portion, or cervical, of the spine are compressed. When one or more of the spinal disc located in the cervical portion of the spine push against the various nerves connected to the spinal cord, pain results.
Unfortunately, the spinal nerves run throughout he entire body. This means that the pain associated with Cervical Radiculitis can be felt throughout the body, not just in the cervical disc that is affected. Pain from Cervical Radiculitis may be felt in the shoulders, neck, chest or arms, depending on which of the cervical disc and associated nerves are affected. You may also experience numb or tingling fingers or a weakness of the muscles located in the chest and arms.
It is relatively easy to diagnosis Cervical Radiculitis. Doctors rely on a variety of imaging tools to view the cervical spine and any disks that may be affected. These include MRI’s and CT Scans. Doctors may also order electrodiagnostic test to confirm the diagnosis.
Luckily, once a diagnosis is made, Cervical Radiculitis is relatively easy to treat in most cases. Mild cases are generally treated with physical therapy to strengthen the muscles, relieve pressure on the disk and provide comfort to the affected patient. More aggressive cases of Cervical Radiculitis may need to be treated with medication. Doctors often prescribe steroids or NSAIDS in conjunction with physical therapy to alleviate some of the pain associated with the condition.
Because the underlying cause of Cervical Radiculitis, compression of the nerves by a cervical spine disk, is often caused by repeated bending or impact of the neck, some cases may be treated with a cervical collar. This heavily padded collar prevents the neck from bending and can sometimes alleviate the problem.
The most serious of cases are treated with surgical intervention. Because Cervical Radiculitis is caused by compression of the nerves by a cervical spine disk, doctors use surgery to relieve the pressure on the nerve. This surgery can be performed in the traditional manner – open back surgery – or arthroscopically. Many patients, as many as 90%, report immediate relief from their pain.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with Cervical Radiculitis and have reason to believe the pain is indeed caused by a compression of the nerves by cervical spine disk, it is important to seek medical attention. While you may find some relief by stretching your neck or taking OTC pain medication, you may do more harm than good. Even worse, a neck stretch that provides comfort and relief one day may bring sudden and shooting pain the neck. Instead, visiting with a doctor and following his prescribed treatment, you will likely alleviate the pain of Cervical Radiculitis all together.
Cervical Radiculitis can be painful and frustrating as well as difficult to live with. Never hesitate to discuss your pain with you doctor. You don’t have to live with everyday pain from Cervical Radiculitis; once diagnosised. It is easily treated.