Neck and Arm (Cervical Radiculopathy) Pain 

Sometimes people can develop or experience pain in their arms, hand and all the way to their fingertips. This pain is often described as an ache, sharp or burning pain, but they may also be pain free but however experience feel pins and needles or numbness in the arm or hand.   

When someone experiences pain radiating down the arm from the neck this is described as cervical radiculopathy. The cause of such pain is commonly caused by irritation or compression of a nerve coming out of the neck and travelling down the arm. Often the pain in the arm is more severe or irritating than actual pain in the neck, and it’s possible you may even have very little, if any neck pain. However, the neck is commonly the underlying cause of these arm symptoms and therefore the area we focus on to improve these symptoms.     

Arm pain from the neck often improves over time or with following some advice and undertaking some gentle exercises. Sometimes however, you may need to take some analgesia medication to allow you to manage the arm pain as it settles down. In addition to over the counter analgesia more nerve specific painkillers such as Amitriptyline, Gabapentin or pregabalin may be offered. Physiotherapy may also be offered.  

On rare occasions the nerves in your neck may become compressed, making it difficult for you to use your arm or hands for everyday tasks such as holding a cup, unscrewing jars or fastening buttons on clothing etc. You may feel as though your arm is weak and very rarely you may also feel as though your balance is affected when walking. If you have these symptoms you should see your doctor. 

Please note -
These are general exercises, seek advice if you are unsure.

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