Pinched Nerve Causing Neck & Arm Pain (Radiculopathy)

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When nerves in the neck are irritated or compressed, patients may have pain, numbness, and weakness into one or both arms. At Seattle Spine & Sports, our physiatrists can pinpoint this diagnosis and provide a graduated approach to treatment, starting with the least invasive therapies. If surgery is needed, we can help coordinate this care.

Cervical Radiculopthy

This condition is an irritation or compression of one or more nerve roots in the cervical spine. Because these nerves travel to the shoulders, arms and hands, an injury in the cervical spine can cause symptoms in these areas. Cervical radiculopathy may result from a variety of problems with the bones and tissues of the cervical spinal column.

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A pinched nerve in the neck often causes tingling, pain, and weakness into one or both arms. Arm symptoms depends on the affected nerve root(s), with the C7, C6, and C5 nerve roots most commonly involved, roughly in that order. Patients often have pain and tingling from the neck or shoulder into the hand, and their pattern of weakness will depend on the nerve roots involved.  For example, patients with C7 nerve root involvement would have difficulty doing a push-up and tingling into the middle fingers of the hand. Patients with C5 nerve root involvement would have more difficulty with bicep curls, and tingling further up the arm rather than the hand.

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