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HPC | Hertfordshire Pain Consultants

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  • I wanted to write a letter to you because I'm so grateful to you and your team at the pain management clinc. After spending over 15 years with the most horrendous headaches and seeing dozens of different doctors and therapists finally you have managed to get them under control. Thanks you for taking the time to genuinely listen to me and my problems. Much appreciated.

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    Hertfordshire
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Cervical Radiculopathy

Cervical radiculopathy is a condition used to describe symptoms of arm pain related to compression of the spinal nerve in the neck. This compression can be caused by a prolapsed/ herniated disc, spinal canal narrowing (Spinal canal stenosis) and bony spurs compressing the nerve as it exits the spine.

It commonly affects those between 50 and 60 years old with additional risk factors including heavy manual labor, smoking, driving, and operating vibrating equipment.

What is Cervical Radiculopathy?

  • Pain – This nerve pain will travel down the arm at the level of the nerve being compressed.
    - Typical features include burning pain, intermittent sharp shooting pains and pain in an area of numbness.
  • Numbness
  • Altered sensations – commonly pins and needles
Investigations
  • Nerve conduction studies – can define the nerve that is being compressed.  Also useful in excluding other nerve related conditions such as ulnar nerve compression that are not related to spinal nerve compression
  • MRI
Treatments
  • Medication – conventional pain relief is commonly ineffective for nerve related pain.  Specific anti-nerve medications such as amitriptylline, nortryptylline, gabapentin and pregablin can ease symptoms
  • Cervical epidural steroid injection

Prognosis

In general after an acute attack, 50% of patients will have no further recurrence of pain, 25% will have mild intermittent symptoms and 25% will have more disabling pain and require surgical intervention.

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