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Cervical Radiculitis – Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Have you heard of cervical radiculitis? What about radiculopathy? Did someone mention it and you don’t know what it means? In this article we’ll focus on understanding this condition and treatment options for those suffering from it.

What is cervical radiculitis?

What Is Cervical Radiculitis?

What does cervical radiculitis mean? Let’s break down the terms.

  • Cervical refers to the upper portion of the spine, in the neck area.
  • Radiculitis refers to inflammation of the spinal nerve root, often resulting it pain that radiates away from the point of irritation. This condition is also sometimes referred to as radiculopathy. (Sciatica is a form of radiculitis.)

So, cervical radiculitis is inflammation of the spinal nerves of the neck in which pain radiates away from the neck. 


Individuals with radiculopathy often experience pain in their upper back, shoulders and down their arms. In some cases tingling, numbness or loss of sensation can occur in an individual’s arms or hands. You may have heard people refer to this condition as saying “I have a pinched nerve in my neck”.


Typically, radiculopathy occurs as a result of irritation to the spinal nerves of the neck. Irritation can be the result of any number of causes such as:

  • poor posture
  • an awkward sleeping position
  • injury
  • disc degeneration
  • arthritis

Treatment Options

Often the initial treatment for cervical radiculopathy is the administration of anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofin. In addition, physical therapy and other types of manual manipulation may help ease the pain.

In more severe cases a steroid injection can be used to reduce the inflammation and pain.

In the most severe cases (or those resistant to other treatment methods) surgery may be recommended. Surgical treatment of cervical radiculitis would focus on taking pressure off of the affected nerve.


If you have a pinched nerve in your neck or believe you have cervical radiculitis and anti-inflammatory medications aren’t helping give us a call. The doctors here at Saratoga Spine are experts in conditions such as radiculopathy.




*Please Note: Information on this site or any recommended sites should not be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery