How to Tell if You Have a Pinched Nerve in the Neck



Pinched nerve in the neckA pinched nerve in the neck is not what it sounds like in most cases. Far more often than not, what people refer to as a “pinched nerve” in the upper back (or “cervical” region of the spine) is actually a strained muscle. The muscles in the neck region might become strained when you sleep with your head in an awkward position, or if your head turns quickly at an unusual angle. While extremely painful in some cases, the pain will usually subside after a few days, and can typically be managed using over-the-counter pain medication. However, there is another condition that actually does deserve the title, “pinched nerve,” and that can produce symptoms which are much more difficult to manage.


Cervical Nerve Compression and its Causes

An actual pinched nerve in the neck is more properly referred to as cervical nerve compression. There are eight sets of nerve roots housed in the cervical (neck) region of the spine. These nerves branch off the spinal cord and carry sensory and motor messages between the brain and the upper body, including the arms and hands. If one of these nerve roots becomes compressed, or pinched, it can interfere with the sensory and motor messages being sent from the brain. It also can cause neck pain, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness in the neck, upper back, arms, hands, and fingers.

What causes these symptoms? Simply, an anatomical abnormality within the neck reduces the space available for the nerve roots to pass. These abnormalities often are related to the aging process and can include:


  • Herniated discs
  • Bulging discs
  • Bone spurs
  • Ligamental hypertrophy
  • Spondylolisthesis (vertebral slippage)

These conditions do not always produce symptoms. When they do, the symptoms are usually manageable with a regimen of conservative, nonsurgical treatment methods such as exercise, stretching, pain medication, corticosteroid injections, and more.

When a Pinched Nerve in the Neck Requires Surgery

Surgery for cervical nerve compression caused by a degenerative spine condition is almost always the last resort treatment option. Typically, it only becomes a consideration if symptoms persist after several weeks or months of failed conservative treatment. It is important to note that it might require a period of trial and error to discover the combination of nonsurgical treatment methods that works for you, because no two cases are alike. Open communication between you and your doctor is vital, especially when it comes to changes (for better or worse) in the symptoms.

72 replies
  1. Blanch Vattes
    Blanch Vattes says:

    Great work! That is the type of info that should be shared across the web. Disgrace on Google for now not positioning this post higher! Come on over and seek advice from my site . Thanks =)|

    Reply
  2. Krissy Dieudonne
    Krissy Dieudonne says:

    Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I will definitely comeback.|

    Reply
  3. Jimmy Paskin
    Jimmy Paskin says:

    I have been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.|

    Reply
  4. Aurelio Binning
    Aurelio Binning says:

    Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely comeback.|

    Reply
  5. Trent Sodek
    Trent Sodek says:

    Heya i am for the primary time here. I found this board and I to find It really helpful & it helped me out a lot. I’m hoping to provide something again and aid others like you aided me.|

    Reply
  6. Moshe Baldiviez
    Moshe Baldiviez says:

    Excellent post. I was checking continuously this weblog and I am inspired! Extremely helpful info particularly the last part 🙂 I deal with such info much. I was seeking this particular information for a long time. Thanks and good luck. |

    Reply
  7. Deonna Rovella
    Deonna Rovella says:

    I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz respond as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. appreciate it|

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. … [Trackback]

    […] Here you can find 65684 more Info on that Topic: painneck.com/pinched_nerve_in_neck/ […]

  2. … [Trackback]

    […] There you can find 85268 additional Info on that Topic: painneck.com/pinched_nerve_in_neck/ […]

  3. […] in the middle of the chest. So how can you tell if it’s a heart attack, neck pain from a pinched nerve, muscle strain from using your smartphone too frequently, or simply indigestion? Can neck pain be […]

  4. […] neck is that it often can go undetected, because debilitating symptoms do not usually arise without nerve compression. However, if symptoms do arise, a doctor will may use medical imaging such as an X-ray, MRI, or CT […]

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *