Brachialgia refers to a condition whereby the nerve root in the cervical spine, another word for the neck, is injured either through degeneration and compression of the nerve or through trauma or from a tumour. Brachialgia can also be referred to as pinched nerve and cervical radiculopathy.
What causes brachialgia?
As we age the discs in our spine break down and start to degenerate. In. some cases the body can grow bony spurs as a result of degeneration. This is perfectly normal, however in some cases these bone spurs can stiffen the neck too much and cause narrowing of spaces for the nerve roots, putting pressure on the nerves.
What are the symptoms?
The most common symptoms associated with brachialgia are pins and needles in the arms and hands, that may get worse when you move your neck in certain positions. Severe cases can see weakness and numbness in the arms and hands. The distribution of this down the arms and into the hands depends on which nerve root is compressed.
What to do if you think you have brachialgia?
If you believe that you have brachialgia, it is important that you go and see your GP. They will discuss your symptoms with you, they may do some nerve tests and examine your neck and then refer you to see a spine specialist. Scans such as x-ray, CT and MRI scans as well as further nerve assessments can help to give a clear diagnosis.
Most patients will be told to wait for a while to see if the symptoms go away over time. If you are experiencing a lot of pain, your doctor can suggest that you take anti-inflammatory medication to help ease the pain. Another useful way to help the symptoms is to physiotherapy to help stretch out the area or some low impact exercise (you can talk to your doctor beforehand).
If this is unsuccessful, steroid injections can be put into the area to help aid a speedy recovery.
Like with many conditions, the final option for brachialgia is surgery. There are three common surgery options that can be used; disc replacement, spinal fusion or a cervical discectomy.
If you would like to speak to our team about treatment for brachialgia, please contact our team on +44 161 327 0681 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the different treatment options available for you with Mr D’Urso.