Radiculopathy FAQ: Restrictions, Possibilities, and Commonalities

Radiculopathy FAQ

1. I had an EMG test, and I want to know what radiculopathy with denervation is?

My neurologist ordered an EMG and when the results came back, I was diagnosed with radiculopathy with denervation. Can you tell what this diagnosis means? I have been told there is nothing I can do for radiculopathy with denervation other than taking muscle relaxants, pain pills and do physical therapy.

 

A: Radiculopathy means that there is impaired nerve function. The word "denervation" is typically used in cases of neuromuscular diseases like polio or after a traumatic accident when the nerve has lost the ability to work. Denervation is also a type of surgical procedure used to relieve some types of pain.

2. Are there physical activities one should avoid doing when diagnosed with cervical radiculopathy?

I have been diagnosed with cervical radiculopathy but my doctor didn't tell me if there are any activities I should avoid. At my job, I have to lift heavy boxes up over my head. If I have a herniated disc in my cervical spine I shouldn't do this, should I?

 

A: If you have been diagnosed with cervical radiculopathy, heavy lifting over your head should be avoided. Does your physician know what your job involves? Good communication with your physician is very important so you can get adequate treatment for you cervical radiculopathy.

3. Could I have cervical radiculopathy due to herniated discs and not experience pain in my neck?

I have been told I have carpal tunnel syndrome and a torn rotor cuff. My symptoms have recently gotten much worse to the point my index finger is burning like fire. I have tried physical therapy and it only made things worse. My doctor has told me to try acupuncture or a chiropractor. Could this be cervical radiculopathy? My rotator cuff and carpal tunnel have never been this bad before.

A: Most of the time cervical radiculopathy causes neck pain. Because of the pressure on the nerve, pain is most often a result and muscle spasms in the neck are typically also a symptom. Since you haven't mentioned these symptoms, your condition does not sound like the problem is in your neck. There really isn't enough information given to tell for sure the reason for your pain, but it is suggestive of nerve damage that may be severe. You may want to see a neurologist. A neurologist can do tests to find the source of your pain, be it cervical radiculopathy or maybe a torn nerve that occurred when you injured your shoulder.

4. Does severe spinal stenosis in C5 with a bulging disk and cervical radiculopathy in arms go away, and what is the treatment?

Also, how common is this and is it serious?

A: A condition that is severe does not typically resolve on its own. This cervical radiculopathy could eventually result in your arms becoming very weak, or even useless. Surgical techniques have improved greatly over the past several years and there are many options to treat this condition. Disc replacement surgery is even an option for cervical radiculopathy caused by a herniated disc. The stenosis can even be corrected by surgery.

5. What are the symptoms of cervical radiculopathy?

A: Cervical radiculopathy typically causes pain and symptoms that are felt along the pathway of the nerve, in the shoulder, along with the arm or in the hand. The symptoms can include weakness, numbness, and pain. Sometimes the reflexes can also be affected. Your physician can usually tell which nerve is affected by cervical radiculopathy by where the symptoms are located. Headaches in the back of the head, called occipital headaches are also common with cervical radiculopathy, as well as neck pain and stiffness.

6. What is C5/C6 Prolapse with canal stenosis and bilateral radiculopathy?

A: Cervical spinal (canal) stenosis means there is a narrowing of the spinal canal in the neck area and this is putting pressure on the nerve roots. Cervical radiculopathy typically causes pain and neurological deficits depending on cord level of the affected root. You may have a loss of sensation along the outside of your upper and lower arms and weak arm muscles.

A cervical prolapse is a herniated or slipped disc which is a condition in which a portion or all of the soft middle of an intervertebral disc comes out through the weakened rim of the disc. This can result in neck and arm pain due to irritation of the nerve root. Cervical radiculopathy can cause severe neck pain and muscle spasms, and pain that radiates down the arms and into the upper back. It can also cause numbness in the fingers.

7. Is cervical radiculopathy permanent?

I have cervical radiculopathy and I'm wondering if this pain will last all my life, or will it go away permanently if treated?

A: If treated, the pain of cervical radiculopathy may go away. This depends on how severe the cervical radiculopathy is, what caused it and if, in the future, the condition progresses.

8. What causes chronic radiculopathy?

A: Trauma, such as occurs in a motor vehicle accident is one reason for chronic cervical radiculopathy.

9. What is the meaning of cervical spondylosis with radiculopathy?

A: This means that there are changes in the spinal column in the neck area due to arthritis or wear and tear damage. This can cause radiculopathy, which is irritation of the nerve where it exits the spinal column. Radiculopathy can cause pain and numbness or tingling that radiates into the shoulder and back or down the arm into the hand and fingers.

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Questions & Answers
Q:
What is the best way to treat permanent back and neck pain and stiffness?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Use a telephone headset

Never hold a phone between your shoulder and your ear. Use a headset or other hands-free system to talk on the phone and avoid abusing your neck and spine.

Neck Pain Tips: Exercise your neck muscles

One of the best neck pain tips is using the chin tuck. You can do this often throughout the day. In addition to helping strengthen the muscles that hold the head in alignment over the shoulders, it also helps strengthen the scalene and sub-occipital muscles.

Read more tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

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Q:
What is the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder Pain?
A:

One of the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder pain is exercises:

Neck Pain Exercises: Neck Extension

  1. To begin this neck pain exercise, sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the palm of your hand on the back of your neck, at the base of your head
  4. Apply slight forward pressure with your hand, while resisting the forward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

Neck pain exercises: Side bend

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place your left hand, palm down, on the left side of your head (around your ear)
  4. Slightly push your head to the right side with your hand, while resisting the sideways motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat 5-10 times
  7. Repeat the neck pain exercises with the other side.

Neck pain exercises: Neck flexion

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the tips of your fingers on your forehead
  4. Slightly push your head backward with your fingers, while resisting the backward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

More exercises here: Neck Pain Exercises

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Temed Holdings
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Q:
How do I reduce the shoulder and neck pain?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Carry weight evenly

Many people make the mistake of carrying a heavy briefcase or their purse on their shoulder or on one side of their body. Doing this causes strain in the muscles and leads to pain.

Remove non-essentials from your briefcase or purse. Consider using a backpack to evenly distribute the weight across your shoulders. If you choose to carry a purse or backpack, keep your shoulders level while carrying it.

Neck Pain Tips: Maintain a proper posture

The most common posture contributing to neck pain is the “head-and-shoulders-forward” posture. In this position, the neck slopes forward, putting the head in front of the shoulders.

In this position, the head pulls the upper back forward also in a slumped position. This places a strain on the entire spinal column.

More tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

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Temed Holdings
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