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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

CERVICAL RADICULITIS/PINCHED NERVE

Question:

Hello Dr. Veliz:

I've had three surgeries on my left shoulder and I continue to have left shoulder pain. I just left my doctor’s office and was sent for an x-ray of my neck. I’m desperate and frustrated. I was rushed out of the office and I am confused as to why an x-ray of my neck would have been ordered if I continue to have pain in my left shoulder.

Answer:

Nerve roots in the upper part of the spine (cervical spine) can become compressed, leading to cervical radiculitis. This is also known in lay terms as a pinched nerve. Compression of the nerve roots may be caused by a herniated disc, degenerating vertebra, degenerating disc, or bone spur. Spinal nerves branch out to other areas of the body. For this reason, pain may occur in places besides the location of the affected nerve root. For example, if the nerve root between the C4 and C5 vertebra is compressed on the left, you may feel pain in your left shoulder and/or left upper arm. In addition, you may experience numbness, tingling, and weakness in these areas.

Hang in there and communicate your concerns with your doctor.

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