Cervical radiculopathy is a term to describe neck dysfunction with symptoms the radiate into the shoulders, arms, or hands. Radiculopathy can occur when the disks in our neck become displaced and intrude upon the nerves that run into our arms or because of muscle or joint dysfunction in the neck which creates pressure on the nerve roots and produces radicular symptoms.
Symptoms associated with cervical radiculopathy include numbness, tingling, or pain that radiates from the neck into the shoulder, arms, or hands. These symptoms can occur on one or both sides of the body. If weakness of the shoulders or arms is present, generally more compression of our nerves has occurred and this requires immediate attention to prevent permanent damage.
What to except from physical therapy
Physical therapy for cervical radiculopathy will focus on patient’s primary symptoms. Cervical traction can assist in decreasing symptoms by decreasing pressure on our nerve roots and manual therapy techniques can restore mobility and increase neuromuscular control of the neck in order to limit symptoms. Development of a home exercise program may also be indicated to increase neck stability and provide you resources for future management of symptoms.