Causes of Pinched Nerve in Neck

What is a Pinched Nerve?

“Pinched nerve” in the neck, also known as Cervical Radiculopathy is a condition when a nerve in the neck is compressed as it branches away from the spinal cord.

Common symptoms include radiating pain into the shoulder/upper extremity, numbness/tingling as well as muscle weakness.


Common Causes of Pinched Nerve in the Neck

1. Degenerative changes: as we age, discs in the spine also age and as a result lose its original height and thus bulge out. Additionally, it also loses its water content and becomes stiff. Eventually, this results in collapse of the disc space (inter vertebral disc space).

Physiologically the body responds to the collapse by forming bony spurs around the disc. However, this rather stiffens the spine, narrows the forearm and ultimately pinches the nerve root nearby.  Degenerative changes of the disc is also known as Spondylosis.


2. Herniated disc/bulging disc: usually caused by an injury, trauma or accident, a disc is herniated when its jelly like center (Nucleus) pushes against its outer ring (annulus).

When the herniated disc bulges out towards the spinal canal it compresses the adjacent nerve root causing pain/weakness/numbness along the area the nerve supplies.  A herniated disc often results from lifting, pulling, twisting, acute bending, and similar.


If you’re suffering from the symptoms of a pinched nerve, schedule an appointment with our westchester orthopedic surgeons at (914) 358-9700.

Orthopedic Doctor Dr. Rahman is a fellowship trained, practicing Physiatrist and Pain Management specialist and partner at Westchester Sport and Spine. Dr. Rahman has subspecialty training in Musculoskeletal and Interventional Pain Medicine and focuses on conservative, non-invasive treatments for most conditions.