Cervical radiculitis is when there is damage to the nerve roots of the cervical spine (C4 to T1) causing pain and loss of sensation or muscle weakness or numbness along the pathway of the peculiar nerve into the shoulder or arm or hand or chest depending on which nerve root pathway is involved.
These pathways are also called dermatomes; see below.
Damage to cervical nerve roots occasionally due to some abnormality or defect in the cervical spine resulting in compression of the nerve roots. Some of the abnormalities that cause nerve root impingement at the vertebrae level are disc herniation, disc bulging , formation of bone spurs and a condition called spondylolisthesis where one vertebra slips forward onto the below vertebra.
Other causes of disc/nerve root compression may be persistent subluxation of vertebrae or fixation of a group of vertebra. These can be a result of poor posture or an injury such as head trauma or whiplash.
Adding to these problems is the imbalance of surrounding musclature ; for example it is common to find the relationship between the neck flexors and neck extentors to be completely dysfunctional.
After the orthopedic & neurological tests to find if there is disc compression and which nerve root pathway (dermatone) is affected, a testing of neck, shoulder,chest and arm muscles is d one. Are there weak muscles?. Is there a relationship between these weak muscles and other muscles that may be overworking. Are there muscles that need to be “turned off” and others need to be actiovated; I can use muscle spindles & golgi tendons to do this. .
Neuro-lymphatic and neuro-vascular pints are worked on to increase lymph and blood flow to affected muscles.
Any bilaterally weak muscles would point to fixation of 2 or more vertebra and need to be corrected accordingly .
Palpation of the spine to find vertebrae lacking movement (subluxation) is done and I muscle test to find the correct corrective vector for the adjustment
The patient is given stretches for the overactive muscles and exercises for the weak muscles , posture esp head position is reviewed.
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