Cervical Radiculopathy

Cervical Radiculopathy

John Miller Physiotherapist

Article by John Miller

Cervical Radiculopathy

Understanding and Managing Neck and Arm Pain

Introduction to Cervical Radiculopathy

Cervical radiculopathy, commonly known as a pinched nerve, is a condition where a nerve root in the cervical spine becomes compressed or irritated. This results in pain, weakness, or numbness radiating along the arm. Despite its technical name, this condition can significantly affect one’s daily life.

Why Does Cervical Radiculopathy Occur?

This condition primarily arises from the irritation of nerve roots exiting the spinal column. Two main causes are:

  1. Physical Compression: Occurs when a bulging disc or bony growth at the vertebra’s edge applies pressure on the nerve, leading to symptoms like arm pain, weakness, or numbness.
  2. Chemical Irritation: Results from inflammation around the nerve root.


The hallmark symptom is neck pain extending down the arm, often with the arm pain being more intense than the neck pain. Impaired nerve function can also cause reduced sensation and muscle weakness in the affected arm areas.


Physiotherapists or doctors diagnose cervical radiculopathy by assessing neck and arm pain sources. This involves questioning, palpating neck muscles and joints, and conducting nerve tests. If necessary, an MRI, CT scan, or X-ray may be used for further investigation.

cervical radiculopathy
Cervical Radiculopathy

Treatment Approaches

  1. Pain Management and Inflammation Reduction: Initial treatment focuses on managing pain and inflammation. Techniques include ice therapy, exercises, manual therapy, electrotherapy, acupuncture, and soft tissue massage.
  2. Restoring Mobility and Posture: Once pain subsides, focus shifts to restoring joint mobility, muscle length, and neural tissue mobility.
  3. Strengthening Muscles: Customised exercises are prescribed to restore normal muscle control in the neck, scapula, and shoulder. Read more: Neck Strengthening
  4. Full Functional Recovery: Tailored rehabilitation assists in returning to regular activities and meeting individual goals.
  5. Preventing Recurrence: Rehabilitation guided by a physiotherapist aims to prevent future recurrences by addressing joint restrictions and muscle patterning.

Expected Outcomes

Recovery times vary. Acute cases may improve significantly in one to two weeks, resolving typically in three months. In some cases, recovery may extend over six to twelve months.

Alternative Treatment Options

  • Neck Massage: Provides pain relief, muscle relaxation, and swelling reduction. Read more: Neck Massage
  • Dry Needling & Acupuncture: May alleviate nerve pain. Consult your physiotherapist for suitability. Read more: Acupuncture or Dry Needling
  • Nerve Root Injection: Considered when other treatments are ineffective.
  • Radiofrequency Treatment: A potential option for managing pain in stubborn cases.
  • Surgery: Reserved for severe cases with significant symptoms.

Your Next Steps

For a comprehensive understanding and personalised advice, consult a physiotherapist or doctor. They can guide you through the treatment options suited to your condition.


Cervical radiculopathy, while potentially debilitating, can be effectively managed with the right approach. Physiotherapy plays a crucial role in treatment, offering various strategies to alleviate pain and restore function. Remember, professional guidance is key to effective management and recovery.

Seek Professional Advice

Don’t let neck and arm pain limit your life. Consult a physiotherapist or doctor to explore your treatment options and embark on a journey to recovery.

Neck Pain Causes

Welcome to the "Neck Pain Causes" page, where we comprehensively explore the factors contributing to neck pain. Neck pain results from a wide array of issues, including injuries to neck joints, muscle-related incidents, bone-related traumas, disc-related problems, nerve-related discomfort, vertigo symptoms, occupational triggers, headache and migraine factors, systemic diseases, and more.

Whether you seek information about muscle cramps, whiplash, osteoporosis, or posture improvement products, this page offers valuable insights and answers to frequently asked questions, aiding your understanding and management of neck pain causes.

General Information

Neck Joint Injuries

Muscle-related Injuries

Bone-related Injuries

Disc-related Injuries

Nerve-related / Referred Pain


Occupational Causes


Systemic Diseases

Neck & Posture Products & FAQs

Neck Pain FAQs

Your Comprehensive Guide

General Neck Pain FAQs

Concerned About Neck Pain - When Should You Be?

  • Learn the signs indicating when neck pain warrants a healthcare professionals visit.

Neck Pain Causes - What Are The Common Culprits?

  • Explore the most frequent causes of neck pain.

Preventing Neck Pain - How Can You Avoid Neck Pain in the First Place?

  • Discover strategies to prevent neck pain before it starts.

Text Neck - What Is It Exactly?

  • Understand how modern technology contributes to neck pain.

Cervical Radiculopathy - How Does It Feel?

  • Get insights into the symptoms and impact of cervical radiculopathy.

Age and Neck Pain - Is Neck Pain More Common as You Get Older?

  • Find out how aging affects neck pain.
Neck Pain
Neck Pain

FAQs on Neck Treatment

Your Road to Relief Relieving Neck Pain - What Can You Do?

  • Explore various methods to relieve neck pain.

Dealing with a Wry Neck - Can You Fix It?

  • Learn about treatments and remedies for a wry neck.

Banishing Neck and Arm Pain - How's It Possible?

  • Understand the connection between neck and arm pain and how to alleviate it.

Physiotherapy FAQs - What to Expect from Physiotherapy for Neck Pain?

  • Know what to expect from physiotherapy sessions for neck pain.

Medication FAQs - When is Medication Necessary for Neck Pain?

  • Learn about the role of medication in managing neck pain.

Surgery FAQs - When is Neck Surgery Considered as an Option?

  • Find out when surgery becomes a necessary option for neck pain.

Neck Exercises

Exercise FAQs - What Neck Exercises Can Help Alleviate Discomfort?

  • Discover exercises that can help in reducing neck discomfort.

Strengthening and Stabilising Your Neck - How It's Done

  • Learn techniques to strengthen and stabilise your neck.

Stretching FAQs - How Can Stretching Benefit Your Neck Health?

  • Understand the benefits of neck stretching exercises.

Neck, Vertigo & Dizziness FAQs

Can Your Neck Trigger Vertigo or Dizziness?

  • Explore the link between neck issues and vertigo or dizziness.

Headache FAQs

Solving Neck-Related Headaches

  • Find solutions for headaches caused by neck problems.

Bid Farewell to Neck Headaches - How to Do It

  • Learn strategies to overcome neck-related headaches.

Posture FAQs

Correcting Years of Poor Posture

  • Get tips on how to correct long-standing poor posture.

Improving Your Posture - What Steps to Take

  • Understand the steps necessary for improving your posture.

Posture Improvement Products & FAQs - Your Posture Allies

  • Discover products that can aid in improving your posture.

Lifestyle and Ergonomics FAQs

How Can Your Daily Habits Affect Neck Health?

  • Learn how everyday habits impact neck health.

Pillow FAQs

Finding the Perfect Pillow

  • Tips on how to find the ideal pillow for neck support.

Pillows: The Ultimate Guide

  • A comprehensive guide to choosing the right pillow.

Healthiest Sleeping Postures - What Are They?

  • Understand the best sleeping postures for neck health.

Choosing the Best Pillow - What Works for You?

  • Guidance on selecting the best pillow based on individual needs.

Identifying an Unsupportive Pillow - The Telltale Signs

  • Learn the signs of a pillow that doesn't provide adequate support.
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