Cervical Radiculitis Pinched Nerve

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The cervical plexus supplies innervation to the shoulder, arm, and hand. A pinched nerve, or cervical radiculitis, is inflammation or compression of one of these nerves. It occurs when a disc presses against the spinal nerves connecting to the spinal cord. The discopathy can be caused by repetitive stress from training or posture. Bone spurs or degenerating vertebrae can also impinge on a nerve. The affected nerves branch to numerous areas, and symptoms may radiate from the source along the nerves to the areas where the nerve travels or that the nerve supplies. Inflammation and pain associated with pinched nerves may continue or worsen if proper treatment is not received. The nerve may become permanently damaged through continued pressure and stress, and the condition may cause serious underlying injury to the vertebrae or spinal cord.

Pain may occur in the arm, chest, neck, or shoulders. Other complaints can include loss of movement in the neck, weak muscles in the arms and chest, and numb fingers.

With proper treatment, the prognosis of cervical radiculitis is generally good in mild and moderate cases. More serious or prolonged cases necessitate surgery to relieve compression of the nerve root. Nevertheless, dry needling acupuncture is a very helpful modality, although long-term treatment is needed for recovery in some cases, and the patients should be informed of this.

The treatment is the same as for other neck problems, including both symptomatic (specific) and systemic (nonspecific) treatments. Two sessions per week should be offered.

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