What is Cervical Radicular Pain (Brachialgia)?
Cervical radicular pain occurs when nerve roots in the spinal cord around the neck are damaged.
This may result in a tingling sensation, numbness or possible weakness that radiates down from the neck to the shoulders, arms and hands.
How can it be Treated?
Cervical Selective Nerve Root Injection
Patients experiencing cervical radicular pain may be advised to go for selective nerve root injection, where local anaesthetic is injected to numb the affected nerves.
Before the start of the procedure, patients will be instructed to lie on their back. Local anaesthetic will then be given to numb the skin around the area of injection.
Under the guidance of X-ray or ultrasound, a needle is inserted next to the nerve root (refer to the image) and local anaesthetic (with or without steroid) will be injected to relieve the pain.
What are the Benefits of the Cervical Selective Nerve Root Injection Procedure?
- It serves as an assessment tool to confirm the exact nerve root that is causing the pain.
- It relieves pain without the need for open surgery.
What are the Risks of the Cervical Selective Nerve Root Injection Procedure?
The risks from the procedure are generally low, although they may still occur. Some of the risks include:
- Injury to the nerves
- Complications from the medications given (e.g. allergic reaction)
Who is Suitable for Cervical Nerve Root Injection?
A person who has the following symptoms may be considered for nerve root injection:
- Experiences significant pain in the neck and arms that affects one’s mood and daily functioning
- Shows no signs of improvement with conservative treatment with medication and physiotherapy
- Has no allergy towards anaesthetic medications