What is cervical radiculopathy? Is this the same as carpal tunnel syndrome?
Cervical refers to your neck. Radiculopathy means any disease that involves a spinal nerve. These nerves come out of the spinal cord as it passes from the skull to the low back area. A cervical radiculopathy (CR) then refers to any problem with the spinal nerves in the neck area.
This is most often caused by damage to the disc material between the bones. It the disc pushes out of its space, it puts pressure on the spinal cord and/or the spinal nerves. Other causes of CR include tumors or bone spurs from arthritis.
CR usually causes neck and upper arm pain. There may be other symptoms such as weakness, numbness, and tingling. When the spinal nerves leave the spinal cord in the neck area, they travel down the arm to the wrist and hand. These same symptoms in the wrist and hand may signal carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).
CTS can occur as a result of cervical radiculopathy. It can be caused by something affecting the nerve just in the wrist area. CTS can also occur as a result of a systemic problem such as diabetes, gout, or thyroid diseases.