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Cervical Spine Radiculopathy: What Is the Best Treatment For It?

Best Treatment For Cervical Radiculopathy After a Car Accident

Every year, there are up to 50 million car crash injuries. Have you been in an auto accident recently? You may have cervical spine radiculopathy.

But what is cervical spine radiculopathy? And how can it be treated? Read on to find out the answer to all your questions about cervical spine radiculopathy. 

What is Cervical Spine Radiculopathy?

Cervical spine radiculopathy is also known as a pinched nerve. It’s when nerve roots near your cervical spine become inflamed, compressed, or damaged. 

Cervical spinal radiculopathy causes pain to the arm, neck, back, shoulders, or chest. It can also cause tingling, weakness, and loss of sensation. It can also interfere with your involuntary reflexes.

There are many causes of cervical spine radiculopathy.

  • Herniated Disc: This happens when the inner material of your cervical disc leaks. This results in inflammation of the nearby nerve. A herniated disc can occur from intense activity or injury.
  • Fracture: If the vertebra gets fractured, the narrowing or instability can impinge the nerve root. This can be caused by injury or from vertebrae slipping in front of one another.
  • Bone Spur: These are injuries caused by nearby inflammation. It can be caused by arthritis or tendon and cartilage injury.
  • Foraminal Stenosis: The foramen is where the nerve root leaves the spinal canal. If the foramen is narrowed, there’s less space for the nerve root, which may lead to impingement. This is caused by disc degeneration.

These can all be caused by a car accident. So make sure to see a doctor if you experience these symptoms after one to get diagnosis and treatment.

How do you Treat Cervical Spine Radiculopathy?

If you go to a doctor for cervical spine radiculopathy, they’ll first need to establish the diagnosis:

  • Imaging: Several types of imaging can diagnose cervical spine radiculopathy. X-rays can show any foramen narrowing, while a CT scan can reveal bone spurs, and an MRI can find herniated discs.
  • Tests: An EMG is often performed alongside nerve conduction studies for nerve damaged. A Spurling’s test determines if compressing the cervical spine reproduces your symptoms.
  • Physical Exam: The doctor examines your arms, hands, neck, and shoulder to look for weakness, pain, loss of sensation, and reflex problems. They will feel for any tenderness or abnormalities, as well as check your range of motion.

Once a doctor determines that you have cervical spine radiculopathy, they’ll choose a course of treatment.

  • Conservative Treatment: These include simple things, like limiting strenuous activities and resting. They may also have you try ice packs or heated gel packs. You may also temporarily have a cervical collar to rest muscles in your neck and limit motion.
  • Physical Therapy: You’ll undergo stretching and exercise to reduce your pain and improve flexibility and range of motion. You’ll also learn exercises you can perform at home to further improve your condition.
  • Medication: Corticosteroids are strong pain relievers that reduce inflammation and swelling. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like aspirin, relieve pain caused by inflammation and irritation.
  • Injections: Injecting steroids near the pinched nerve reduces local inflammation. It’s either injected between the laminae, into the facet joint, or in the foramen. They don’t relieve the pressure but can reduce swelling long enough for the nerve to recover.
  • Surgery: If all other treatments fail, surgery is possible. During a cervical fusion, they remove the herniated or damaged disc and fuse the cervical spine so the neck can remain stable. During artificial disc replacement, the problematic disc is instead replaced to retain mobility.

Need an Expert Medical Opinion?

Now you know all about cervical spine radiculopathy. Need an expert medical opinion? We can help!

If you’ve been injured, get help now, call 1-800-897-8440 request an appointment today with one of our top accident injury doctors.