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Cervical Radiculopathy and Upper Cervical Chiropractic

Cervical radiculopathy is a condition that impacts approximately 83 individuals per 100,000 in the United States. It is most commonly observed in people between 45 and 64. This disorder affects the nerve roots in the cervical spinal column and can result in distressing or incapacitating neurological symptoms that extend to the shoulder, arm, and hand.

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Cervical radiculopathy is a condition that impacts approximately 83 individuals per 100,000 in the United States. It is most commonly observed in people between 45 and 64. This disorder affects the nerve roots in the cervical spinal column and can result in distressing or incapacitating neurological symptoms that extend to the shoulder, arm, and hand.

Suppose you suspect that you have cervical radiculopathy. In that case, it’s important to note that conservative treatment options, such as upper cervical chiropractic, can often relieve and make surgery unnecessary except in extreme cases. Nevertheless, understanding how this condition can impact you and exploring potential solutions can be beneficial.

How does cervical radiculopathy affect your daily function?

Medical professionals use the term “radiculopathy” to describe the dysfunction of a spinal nerve root. This condition can occur in the back or neck, depending on the specific location of the affected nerve root.

The spinal nerve roots originate from the spinal cord and extend outward to connect with the major nerves in the body. These major nerves then branch out into numerous smaller nerves responsible for transmitting signals to different body parts. In the case of cervical nerve roots, they play a crucial role in facilitating the transmission of nerve signals between the spinal cord and the upper extremities (such as the arms and hands).

When a cervical nerve root is compressed or injured, its ability to transmit nerve signals is compromised. This interruption in regular communication can impact the comfort and functionality of the nerves supplied by the affected nerve root. Consequently, you may experience symptoms in your shoulder, arm, hand, or fingers due to this impingement.

Symptoms of cervical radiculopathy typically manifest in a single extremity at a time, as the impingement usually affects a specific nerve root on one side of the cervical spine. These symptoms commonly include pain, sensory loss, tingling sensations, and declining muscle strength or coordination.

What causes cervical radiculopathy?

Nerve roots pass through narrow spaces between the spinal vertebrae. This anatomical arrangement makes them susceptible to compression from nearby structures. Therefore, acute injuries that displace these structures or result in disc herniation can compress cervical nerve roots. This compression can cause the pinching of the nerve roots and subsequent symptoms.

Indeed, the development of cervical radiculopathy is not limited to injuries alone. Conditions such as herniated, ruptured, or bulging discs can arise due to age-related degenerative changes in the spine. Additionally, arthritis, bone spurs, and long-standing alignment issues in the cervical spine can contribute to the compression of nerve roots. These factors can all play a role in pinching the nerve roots and leading to cervical radiculopathy.

It’s important to note that not all upper extremity symptoms are attributed to cervical radiculopathy. There are other potential causes for hand or finger problems, such as crushed nerves in the arm or overuse injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome. These conditions can result in similar symptoms but have different underlying causes. Proper diagnosis by a healthcare professional is crucial in determining the specific cause of hand or finger problems to guide appropriate treatment.

How upper cervical chiropractors can help with cervical radiculopathy?

Seeking an accurate diagnosis is the initial step when experiencing symptoms of cervical radiculopathy. Therefore, upper cervical chiropractors employ comprehensive neck examinations, considering factors such as symptoms, lifestyle, age, medical history, and other relevant risk factors. This thorough assessment aids in determining the specific nerve root that requires treatment, enabling the chiropractor to develop an appropriate treatment plan.

Gentle and subtle chiropractic adjustments targeted at the cervical spine can help alleviate symptoms of cervical radiculopathy by addressing their root cause. By improving the alignment of the neck, these adjustments can effectively reposition bones or herniated discs, relieving pressure on the nerve tissue and restoring the normal flow of nerve signals. This can lead to a reduction in symptoms and an improvement in overall condition.

It is important to note that upper cervical chiropractic differs from traditional chiropractic as there is no neck cracking, popping, or twisting.

In addition to chiropractic adjustments, chiropractors often complement the treatment of cervical radiculopathy with other non-surgical techniques to enhance effectiveness. For example, physical therapy exercises can strengthen weakened muscles and improve posture, contributing to overall recovery. Cervical traction, a technique that applies gentle stretching to the spine, may also address spinal disc and joint issues associated with cervical radiculopathy. Chiropractors aim to optimize results and promote healing by combining these treatment methods.

After successfully managing cervical radiculopathy, your chiropractor can provide valuable guidance to prevent future episodes. A preventative wellness plan may involve regular exercises to maintain strength and flexibility, ergonomic adjustments to promote a healthier posture, and regular chiropractic examinations to identify and address potential early-stage spinal imbalances. These proactive measures can help minimize the risk of recurrence and support long-term spinal health.


Dr. Berner does not diagnose, treat, or prevent any medical diseases or conditions; instead, he analyzes and corrects the structure of his patients with Foundational Correction to improve their overall quality of life. He works with their physicians, who regulate their medications. This blog post is not designed to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment, or services to you or any other individual. The information provided in this post or through linkages to other sites is not a substitute for medical or professional care. You should not use the information in place of a visit, consultation, or the advice of your physician or another healthcare provider. Foundation Chiropractic and Dr. Brett Berner are not liable or responsible for any advice, the course of treatment, diagnosis, or any other information, services, or product you obtain through this article or others.


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