You’ve been told you have cervical radiculopathy, that arm pain, tingling, or numbing that goes into the arm, forearm, even hands and fingers. In this video, there will be three great exercises that you can do at home to relieve the symptoms associated with cervical radiculopathy, whether it’s numbing, tingling, or even pain down the arm. Hi there, I’m Dr. Walter Salubro, a chiropractor in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada. At our office, we help people with chronic spinal conditions, improve their spinal alignment and get rid of pain without surgery using corrective chiropractic methods. Our structural care program has helped many people with conditions like cervical radiculopathy or conditions related to disc bulge in the low back like L4, L5 disc bulge or L5, S1 disc bulge. It has even helped disc bulges in the neck or conditions like sciatica, low back pain, leg pain, numbness and tingling.
Cervical Radiculopathy Nerves Involved
Cervical radiculopathy is an arm symptom that originates from a problem in the neck area. When one of these nerves in the cervical spine gets irritated, especially those in the lower part of the cervical spine, the C5, C6, C7, C8 nerve, and the T1 nerve in the upper thoracic area, which form the bronchial plexus that reaches into the arm, forearm and fingers, they will show symptoms in the arm causing cervical radiculopathy.
Cervical Radiculopathy Exercises
Two of the exercises shown in this video are nerve glides or nerve flossing exercises, and one of them will be a great stretch to open up the shoulder area, to help relieve irritation and pressure on those nerves that go from the side of the neck and to the arms.
The first exercise is a nerve glide. Standing nice and tall, place your arm up in a 90° angle with your palms facing towards your face. You are going to stretch a part of your neck and do a nerve floss or nerve glide for the median nerve.
Then bend your hand outward, letting your palm face the ceiling.
And then, extend your arm and tilt your head in the opposite direction. You will feel a great stretch going down the neck and in the arm. Getting some rotation in the arm helps get more of a stretch as well as pressing your hand down on your shoulder and bringing your extended arm back.
This exercise helps strip those neck muscles, mobilize your spine and neck and get a gliding effect on that nerve. With these exercises, make sure to not go beyond your ability or tolerance. If it causes pain or increases the symptoms, do not continue. This exercise can be done 10 times to start within your tolerance. When you start to feel some relief and you feel it is helping, you can bring it up to 15, 20 or even 30 times. Try to do this minimum once a day and see how it helps you.
The next exercise, is a nerve glide for the ulnar nerve, which can get irritated and cause cervical radiculopathy. It is a bit more challenging to do so it requires some flexibility. You are going to start by making an okay sign with your hand.
Then bring your hand upside down. This alone will begin the actual ulnar nerve glide. Then pull your elbow back as far as you can until you feel the stretch inside the arm.
If you are more flexible, rotate your hand, bringing the ‘o’ as close to your face as possible. This will help with flossing out that ulnar nerve, that goes down the outer part of your arm into your pinky finger.
When you become more flexible with this, you can go right up against your chin and put the ‘o’ against your eye, stretching your elbow back more. It helps to floss that ulnar nerve, which can be associated with the pain in the arm or cervical radiculopathy.
For the third exercise, you will need an elastic tube or band, anything that is stretchy. With the band, you are going to open up the shoulders on both sides and relieve any pressure on the brachial plexus caused by rounded shoulders, or rounded posture, which can be a contributing factor to cervical radiculopathy and pain down to the arm or pinching effect on those nerves that come up from the side of the neck.
Taking the band, make it as tight or lose as you would like by making the band small or long. Now, you’re going to pull the band as far as you can and put your thumbs up in the air. Then you are going to bring both yours arm back, open up those shoulders, rotate your thumbs back and bring your chin down. You will feel a great stretch on your pectoral muscles.
This exercise helps open up any compression in the neck area due to poor posture around the shoulders, which can irritate the nerves coming from the side of the neck, into your arm.
Those are three great exercise that can help relieve any pinching, nerve pain going into your arm from cervical radiculopathy,
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6) Pinched Nerve (Cervical Radiculopathy) Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo
Arm Pain and Tingling