What is Brachialgia?

August 21st, 2017 by LOC Team


Brachialgia is a doctors term for a pinched nerve in your neck. It is also sometimes called a cervical radiculopathy. Basically, there is an injury to a nerve root in your neck, which can be rather painful. Below, we are going to tell you all about Brachialgia, how it is caused, diagnosed and treated. We hope you find this article helpful if you think you have Brachialgia.

How is Brachialgia caused?

As you get older, the discs in your back begin to degenerate and collapse. In some cases, our body will form bone spurs. These are bony lumps that help to support and strengthen the spine. This sounds quite painful, but it’s perfectly normal and in most cases, doesn’t present an issue with health at all. However, sometimes these bony growths can make the spine stiffer, and if this happens, it can press on a nerve causing conditions like Brachialgia.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of Brachialgia are varied, but in most cases pins and needles and pain in your arms are common. This feeling can be made worse when you turn your head or stretch your neck. It is possible to relieve some of the pain by putting your hand on your head and stretching your arm and shoulder. However, for a lot of people, this doesn’t work all of the time; so many people with Brachialgia are uncomfortable and in pain for a large portion of their day.

How is Brachialgia diagnosed?

In most cases, your diagnosis will start with your GP. They will likely refer you to a specialist who will take over your examination and treatment. They will examine your neck and ask you about your medical history to determine the cause of your pain. They are likely to check your strength, reflexes and range of movement as well, this is normal, all three can be affected by Brachialgia.

Once the specialist has reached a diagnosis, it can be backed up using CT scans, MRI scans, x-rays and ultrasound. They might also do a test known as nerve conduction studies. This test is designed to find out which of your symptoms are caused by a pressure on the spinal nerve root. This test can be particularly helpful if you are suffering from another condition, or are suspected of suffering from another condition.

The treatment

In most cases, the symptoms of Brachialgia will disappear without the need for any sort of treatment, but they can return. There are a few non-surgical treatments that your specialist may recommend you try; including anti-inflammatory drugs and exercises for strengthening and stretching your muscles. If your symptoms show no signs of improving, an injection of steroids into your spine can help reduce swelling and pain, giving the nerve time to heal.

Surgery can be used to treat Brachialgia, but it depends on the type problem that is causing the pinched nerve. The types of surgery that can help to solve Brachialgia include; spinal fusion, anterior cervical discectomy and disc replacement.

We hope this article about Brachialgia has been helpful if you think you have the condition. For more information about conditions that affect the neck, please explore our blog further.