The spine contains nerves that send messages to and from the brain and all other parts of the body. For this reason, any time one of these nerves is affected, it can lead to problems not only in the spine, but in other body parts as well. One condition that involves spinal nerves is called cervical radiculopathy, which can cause radiating neck pain in New York City that can become very bothersome.
The spine is made up of 24 bones (vertebrae) stacked on top one another. Together, all of these bones connect to create a canal that protects the spinal cord from damage. The uppermost portion of the spine that begins at the base of the skull is called the cervical spine. It contains nerves that carry messages between the brain and muscles in the shoulders, arms, hands and fingers. This is accomplished through nerve roots that travel through the spinal canal and branch out through openings in the vertebrae called foramen.
Cervical radiculopathy, which is often called a pinched nerve, occurs any time one of the nerve roots in the neck is compressed or pinched when it branches away from the spinal cord. This is caused by any condition that injures or irritates nerves in the cervical region, including a herniated disc, spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease.
In most cases, patients experience a burning pain that starts in the neck and travels down the arm. This pain can get worse from turning or straining the neck. Other symptoms include tingling, weakness or loss of sensation in the shoulders, arms, hands or fingers.
Fortunately, most patients with cervical radiculopathy will get better over time, sometimes within a matter of days or weeks. But when the condition doesn’t improve, treatment is needed. Physical therapy is very effective for radiating neck pain in New York City, and our treatment programs usually include the following:
- Stretching exercises: your physical therapist will teach you exercises for the neck designed to relieve your symptoms and allow you to return to normal movement
- Strengthening exercises: depending on which spinal nerves are involved, we will target specific muscle groups with a variety of strengthening exercises
- Posture education: using proper posture will help prevent your condition from getting worse, so your therapist will instruct you on how to improve your posture
- Manual therapy: in addition to exercises performed by you, your therapist will also use their hands to perform various techniques to relieve pressure in the neck
- Functional training: as you progress in your treatment, we will eventually begin functional exercises to help you return to your job, sport or other daily activities
In some cases, we may also recommend acupuncture in addition to your physical therapy treatment course to further address your radiating neck pain in New York City. If you’re dealing with issues in your neck or anywhere else in your spine, physical therapy is your best bet. Contact Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City at 212-317-8303 to schedule an appointment today, or click here for more information on cervical radiculopathy.