The specialists at NJ Spine & Wellness treat patients with cervical radiculopathy with state-of-the-art, comprehensive care that lets them get better, faster. From physical therapists and chiropractors to highly-trained surgeons, our cervical radiculopathy specialists help patients throughout our four locations in NJ, including:

Cervical Radiculopathy Treatment Options

There is a wide range of treatment options available for individuals with cervical radiculopathy. Recommended treatments depend mainly on the underlying cause of the patient’s symptoms and their severity.

Nonsurgical treatments can include one or more of the following:

  • Physical therapy: An exercise or stretching routine specific to a patient’s needs can improve neck and back strength and flexibility, helping them hold improved posture and become more resistant to pain. Manual manipulation may be part of a physical therapy program. A chiropractor can manually adjust the cervical spine with the goal of improving mobility and fostering a better healing environment.
  • Cervical epidural steroid injection: Using contrast dye and x-ray guidance, an injection is placed in the cervical spine’s epidural space to bathe the compressed nerve in the neck in a steroid medication.
  • Rest or activity modification: Limiting strenuous activities, such as engaging in sports or lifting heavy objects, as well as using better posture while sitting, can provide relief.
  • Ice/heat therapy: Applying an ice or heated gel pack to the neck could be beneficial.
  • Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are one of the first medications used to try and relieve inflammation related to cervical radiculopathy.
  • Cervical traction: A specialized device applies weight that pulls up on the head slightly to increase the space between cervical vertebrae.

If nonsurgical treatments fail to provide adequate pain relief or if neurological symptoms continue to progress, surgery may be considered. Surgical options include anterior cervical discectomy and fusion and artificial disc replacement.

Cervical Radiculopathy Exercises

A trained physical therapist can demonstrate the best stretches to relieve pain stemming from compressed nerves in your neck. Here are some of our go-to gentle exercises:

Trap stretch

If your trapezius muscles, located in the back of your neck, are too tight, they can compress your spine and nerves.

  • Place your right hand below your thigh
  • With your left hand, bend your head to the left side
  • Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times on each side

Chin tuck

A chin tuck reduces tension by lengthening your neck.

  • Place your fingers on your chin
  • Push your chin toward your neck
  • Hold for 3-5 seconds, and repeat 3-5 times

Head turn

A compressed nerve can decrease your neck’s range of motion, although performing head turns in a slow, controlled manner may help.

  • Straighten your head and neck, so you’re looking ahead
  • Slowly turn your head to the right. Hold for 5-10 seconds
  • Slowly turn your head to the left. Hold for 5-10 seconds

Shoulder roll

These exercises release tension in the shoulder and neck.

  • Lift your shoulder blades, and roll them back and down
  • Repeat 5-6 times
  • Do exercise in the opposite direction

While these stretches and exercises are a great start, our trained cervical radiculopathy specialists in NJ will be able to curate a comprehensive exercise program customized to your specific needs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is cervical radiculopathy?

Cervical radiculopathy is when a nerve root in the cervical spine becomes damaged or inflamed, resulting in a change in neurological function, such as numbness, altered reflexes, or weakness. These deficits can radiate anywhere from the neck into the shoulder, arm, hand, or fingers.

What does a pinched nerve feel like?

Symptoms of a pinched nerve include:

  • Numbness or otherwise decreased sensation in the area supplied by the nerve
  • “Pins-and-needles” sensations, also known as paresthesia
  • Muscle weakness in the affected area
  • Sharp, aching, or burning pain that could radiate outwards.

How long does a pinched nerve in the neck last?

For many, pain from a compressed nerve in the neck will resolve on its own within four weeks. However, it’s common for signs to return over time. If cervical radiculopathy symptoms don’t clear up, there are non-surgical and surgical treatments available.

Contact Our Cervical Radiculopathy Specialists in NJ

For more information about what our cervical radiculopathy specialists in any one of our NJ clinics — including East Brunswick, Freehold, Matawan, and Old Bridge — can help you Get Better Faster, contact our team today