Individuals experiencing radiculopathy in and around the neck notice it immediately, often driving them to the medicine cabinet. This condition presents with:
- Acute pain
- Muscle spasms
However, medication will only help relieve the pain temporarily, but it won’t alleviate what is causing the radiculopathy. This is because pain medication/s can exacerbate the condition by blocking the pain signals with the root nerve issue never being resolved. Chiropractic is a complete solution that specifically mobilizes the cervical joints where nerve impingement occurs. The objective is to help individuals understand the underlying cause of the acute pain induced by radiculopathy and provide long-term pain relief through cervical joint mobilization.
A chiropractor needs to isolate the pain to determine what cervical nerve bundles are being affected by a subluxation or vertebral compression. This is accomplished through describing symptoms, radiological imaging to provide visual confirmation, and examining the affected area. Isolating the pain allows the chiropractor to determine the extent of misalignment and how much the nerve is being compressed. This will help in the development of a customized treatment plan. A chiropractor can see and feel the degree of pressure being placed on the nerve or bundle of nerves.
Mobilizing The Cervical Joints
Chiropractors approach this directly based on the individual and the severity of the case. The most common joint mobilizations include:
- Low-impact adjusting will shift the misaligned vertebrae back into place
- Traction to decompress cervical vertebrae
- Adjustments to the opposite non-painful area will help counterbalance stress in the spine
Radiculopathy improvement consists of:
- The cervical spine is stabilized through bracing and posture supports
- Isometric exercises will recondition the neck, shoulders, and upper back
- Range of motion exercises will prevent any subtle compression/s
- Corrective restoration of the cervical spine’s curve
The spine returns to normal during cervical joint mobilization and alleviates radiculopathy immediately.
Proper chiropractic care will correct the affected nerve bundle and stabilize the cervical spine to prevent/resist:
- Other shifts that can occur
Chiropractic Mobilization Long-Term Relief
A pinched nerve should not be treated with over-the-counter medications for long-term health. Corrective chiropractic mobilization is a recommended action for alleviating this and other musculoskeletal conditions. Chiropractic understands the nature and severity of radiculopathy as well as develops the proper customized treatment plan that will bring optimal results.
DASH Diet Example
- 3/4 cup bran flakes cereal with 1 banana and 1 cup low-fat milk
- 1 slice whole-wheat bread with 1 tsp. unsalted butter
- 1 orange
- 1 cup coffee
- Sandwich 2 slices of whole-wheat bread
- 3 oz. grilled thin chicken breast
- 2 slices low-fat cheese
- 1 tbsp. mustard
- 1/2 cup chopped/diced cucumbers
- 1/2 cup chopped/diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
- 1 teaspoon of low-calorie, non-cream dressing
- 1/2 cup fruit cocktail with no sugar
- 1/3 cup unsalted almonds
- 3 oz. lean beef with 2 tbsp. fat-free, low-sodium gravy
- 1 cup broccoli sauteed with 1/2 tsp. olive oil
- 1 small baked potato topped with:
- 1 tbsp. fat-free sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp. shredded, reduced-fat, natural low-sodium cheddar cheese
- 1 tbsp. chopped scallions
- 1 small apple
- 1/2 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt topped with:
- 1/2 cup berries
- Cocoa powder light dusting
BMJ. 2017 Advances in the diagnosis and management of neck pain. Available at: pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28807894/
Mayo Clin Proc. 2015. Epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of neck pain. Available at: pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25659245/
Open Orthop J. 2016. A Qualitative Description of Chronic Neck Pain has Implications for Outcome Assessment and Classification. Available at: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5301418/
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015. Complementary and Alternative Medicine for the Management of Cervical Radiculopathy: An Overview of Systematic Reviews. Available at: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4541004/
Professional Scope of Practice *
The information herein on "Chiropractic Mobilization For Cervical Joints With Radiculopathy" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*
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