What is Cervical Radiculopathy and How do We Treat it?

Cervical Radiculopathy is a problem that presents itself very commonly and often times limits activities in the day to day lives of those affected. This is a common diagnosis classified as a disorder of a nerve root and is most often a result of a compressive or inflammatory pathology from a lesion occupying space. When any root in the cervical spine is irritated due to inflammation or compression there are symptoms that may indicate Cervical Radiculopathy:

  1. Pain
  2. Tingling
  3. Numbness
  4. Weakness

These symptoms can present themselves and radiate anywhere along the nerve’s path into the shoulder, arm, and hand. The type of pain can vary from dull and general to a severe burning sensation or sharp pains. Sensations such as pins and needles, and numbness can occur as well. The numbness and weakness caused by the nerve compression can impact the ability to grip or lift objects. Certain movements of the neck such as bending or rotating may increase and pain discomfort.


Treating Cervical Radiculopathy starts with stretching, and strengthening of the surrounding muscles. Postural exercises are also significant in the treatment process in order to help alleviate the pressure off the spine so that the nerve has a chance to heal. Modalities are also helpful such as manual therapy manipulation, electrical stimulation, and heating/ice packs. Different modalities that help to control the symptoms also ideally help to take away some of the inflammation surrounding the nerve roots as well.