Pinched nerve neck pain is usually due to foraminal stenosis, although it can also occur in far more rare instances from central spinal stenosis or even lateral stenosis. Pinched nerves, also known as compressive neuropathy conditions, are one of the most commonly implicated diagnostic theories used to explain combination neck pain symptoms in the upper body including: neck and shoulder pain, neck and arm pain, neck and hand pain and neck and finger pain.
Compressed nerves are also usually blamed for causing many of the associated neurological symptoms which may occur in any of these areas, including tingling, weakness or numbness in the upper appendages.
This resource section profiles pinched cervical nerves and how they may create a variety of symptomatic expressions.
Pinched Nerve Neck Pain Topics
Here are some of the detailed topical discussions I have prepared on the subject of nerve compression and impingement issues in the cervical spine:
A pinched nerve in the neck can certainly occur from many possible structural sources. However, all is not what it may seem, since many nonstructural causations can mimic nerve compression symptoms perfectly.
Pinched cervical nerve conditions usually exist in the mid to lower levels of the cervical spine. Upper levels are affected in only extreme circumstances.
Learn the difference between cervical nerve compression and cervical nerve impingement. These are commonly seen diagnostic terms used on neck pain MRI studies and may mean different things to different people.
Nerve pain in the neck is a truly miserable fate to suffer for anyone. Nerves are incredibly sensitive throughout the body and cervical nerves can enact nasty symptoms.
Pinched Nerve Neck Pain Details
Pinched nerves are most often reported on cervical MRI studies as compressed nerve roots, but may be noted as nerve root impingement or encroachment in some cases. Other diagnostic terms include nerve root displacement, mass effect on the nerve root, touching a nerve root or effacing a nerve root.
Generally speaking, the only diagnosis which is almost sure to enact symptoms is any form of compression. A nerve which is touched or moved, but not compressed, can still function normally and usually does.
That being said, even many nerves, which are reported as being compressed, obviously are not, since the patient either has no symptoms at all or has pain in areas not even served by the theorized compressive neuropathy condition. I see this demonstrated constantly in the MRI reports you send me.
Pinched Nerve Neck Pain Guidance
True pinched nerves are scientifically proven not to enact chronic pain. A real compressed nerve will stop signaling completely in a short amount of time and the result will be objective, not subjective, numbness and weakness in the specific areas of the body served by the affected nerve structure.
Chronic pain which results from a suspected compressive neuropathy goes against the nature of this virtual law. This is not to say that nerve impingement can not cause pain if the compression is transitory or partial, but these types of pain patterns do not mimic those of 95% of people with chronic neck pain which has been mistakenly blamed on a compressed nerve issue.
It should also be noted that ischemia of a regional area of the neck will elicit pinched nerve symptoms despite no actual compression occurring. This is the true underlying source of pain for millions whose symptomatic expressions are far too diverse to ever possibly be explained from the limited structural issues discovered on diagnostic testing.
What I am saying here, in the simplest of terms, is that many pinched nerves are misdiagnosed. In order to improve your hopes for an accurate diagnosis, be sure to consult with an expert in spinal neurology for confirmation of any suspected compressive neuropathy condition.