Neck and nerve pain are common complaints in the clinical setting here at Physio Performance Drogheda.
One of the initial goals of clinical assessment is to determine if your pain is coming from local structures in and around shoulder/arm or being referred from the cervical spine.
One of the possible causes for referred pain into the shoulder and arm is cervical radiculopathy, also known as a pinched nerve or nerve root pain. Cervical radiculopathy is the term that describes compression of a cervical nerve root which results in pain and/or sensorimotor deficit in the upper extremity. It can be caused by disc herniation, spondylosis, instability, trauma and rarely, tumors.
In the neck, irritation or compression of a nerve root will be felt in the shoulder or arm as a sensory change or muscular weakness. Common symptoms include pain in the neck, shoulder, arm or hand, altered sensation in these areas – pins and needles, burning, and in some cases, muscle weakness. With nerve root pain symptoms, the spinal level at which the pain is coming from can be deduced as the symptoms often follow a pattern based on the point of origin.
- C5 – pain in the upper arms and shoulder blades, but numbness or tingling is not usually associated.
- C6 – pain or weakness from the neck along the arm, including the biceps, wrists, thumb, and index finger.
- C7 – most common, reports of pain or weakness from the neck to the hand, including the triceps and the middle finger.
- C8 – pain primarily from the neck to hand, patients experience weakness in hand grip, as well as pain along the inside of the arm to the ring and little fingers.
Treatment may include traction, manual therapy and exercises to help offload structures compressing on the nerve. Specific exercises to restore neck range of movement, strengthening exercises, dry needling, massage are some techniques that may be used. Exercises aren’t the only things to consider during the management of cervical radiculopathy. In fact, there’s no best exercise or treatment, but some other factors can influence our irritability and pain levels.
- Sleep: How’s your sleep quality and quantity? A bad night of sleep can worsen your pain the next day.
- Stress: Do you notice any associations between stress or anxiety and your symptoms?
- Posture: There’s a common misconception that neck or nerve issues need to be fixed by always maintaining your shoulder blades down and back. However, constantly trying to put yourself in this position can actually exacerbate symptoms. There is no perfect posture, so explore what works well for you rather than trying to be rigid with your approach.
- Inactivity: How much of your day is spent sitting or looking at a screen? How does that influence your symptoms?
The Physio Performance Way:
We are the specialists here in the Drogheda area dealing with Pinched Nerves.
We can guide you right through the whole journey: From the initial diagnosis to a full recovery.
A rehabilitation program will be customised for you to help you regain your range of motion and help you build a more confident and stronger neck.
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We’d love to help!
You can contact us on 041-9877059 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also book an appointment online with us HERE