Cervical radiculopathy is the clinical description of pain and/or neurological symptoms resulting from any type of condition that irritates a nerve in the cervical spine (neck)
Cervical nerve roots, named C1 through C8, exit the cervical spine above the designated vertebral level at all levels except the last one (C8 exits below the C7 vertebra). These cervical nerves then branch out to supply muscles that enable functioning of the shoulders, arms, hands, and fingers. They also carry sensory fibers to the skin that provide sensation.
When any nerve root in the cervical spine is irritated through compression or inflammation, symptoms of pain, tingling, numbness, and/or weakness can radiate anywhere along that nerve’s pathway into the shoulder, arm, and/or hand.
Cervical radiculopathy symptoms most commonly appear intermittently at first—coming and going—but they could also develop suddenly or gradually.