Always remember that the cervical spine is comprised of seven vertebrae starting at the base of the skull. There are eight pairs of nerves that travel through the bony openings in the cervical spine. It is important to note that if one or several of these nerves become strained, it can lead to the development of a painful cervical neuropathy. http://youtu.be/NhJSnBiZkKQ
What are the symptoms of cervical neuropathy?
When it comes to cervical neuropathy, the most common indicator is the pain that radiates from the neck down to the arms. Take note that the pain can be sharp or dull and can occur on only one side of both. Once the pain is accompanied by tingling sensation, numbness or weakness, it typically indicates that the nerve compression is a severe one.
Diagnosing cervical neuropathy
If an individual suspects cervical neuropathy, the doctor will carry out a physical exam which is the initial step in order to come up with a diagnosis. It is vital to determine if there is any limitation on the motion of the neck or any weakness or diminished sensation in the arms. An X-ray will be requested to check if there is any disease on the bones in the cervical spine. Additionally, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or CT scan might also be required to come up with a definitive diagnosis.
What are the causes?
There are various causes of pressure on the cervical nerve. The cause can be as simple as a muscular spasm or serious as a tumor. The most common cause of pinched nerves in the neck is degenerative disease of the spine which is a form of arthritis that can lead to the formation of bony protrusions known as spurs or the herniation of the discs that are situated between the bones.
How to provide relief from pain
The commonly used medication for pain during cervical neuropathy includes anti-inflammatory medications and antispasmodic medications. Always remember that these medications can help diminish the tightness in the muscles as well as the swollen nerves. If you will enroll in a first aid course, you can learn how to properly manage other forms of pain. A neck brace or collar can be used to help reduce the pressure on the affected nerves since it provides support to the head and the neck. In some cases, a steroid injection is administered at the area where the swollen nerve leaves the bone. Additionally, narcotics are rarely given due to its addictive potential.
Oftentimes, the simple measures are not effective in relieving the pain of cervical neuropathy. The pain can progress and eventually lead to weakness in the arms. In such cases, surgery might be the only option available. Take note that a ruptured disc would require repair or an unstable spinal column needs to be fixed into a firm position.