What is a pinched nerve in the neck?
The cervical region of the spine consists of seven vertebrae that begins at the base of the skull and continues down the neck and upper back. Also in this region of the spine are eight pairs of nerve roots. When something causes a one of those nerve roots to be damaged or injured by compression, you have what is referred to as a pinched nerve in the neck.
Nearly everyone will be affected by a pinched nerve in their neck at some point in their lifetime. It is a very common problem that can vary significantly in pain intensity and underlying cause making it important to visit an experienced chiropractor when experiencing the symptoms of a pinched nerve in the neck. The symptoms are helpful in determining which vertebrae the injury is near and what the best treatment will be. Symptoms may include shoulder pain, muscle weakness, pain or numbness down the arm, pain or numbness in the fingers, and reduced reflexes.
The causes of pinched nerves in the neck are different in each case. There are risk factors that can increase the chances of nerve injury which include obesity, age, degenerative disc disease, bulging discs, herniated discs, spinal arthritis, bone spurs and several other issues. It can also occur from repetitive motion, or holding your head in one position for long periods of time. In fact, anything that can increase pressure near a nerve can increase the risk of compression.