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myneckandbackmmyneckandback Posts: 6
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I am new here and I need a little help understanding cervical radiculopathy. Is it common for it to affect both arms?


  • I don't know the medical answer to that, but I can tell you from my personal experience that both my arms are affected. I'm usually alright unless I use one or both arms away from my body. The ache comes on in minutes and lasts for minutes, hours or even a day or so.
  • It depends on what nerve it is and where its compressed. I first started with pain on one side but when my spinal cord became involved then it began to affect both sides.
  • Here is a link, that might have an answer for you...http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00332
  • Thank you. That is the first article I've read that I understand.

    Interesting that it's a degenerative condition but I am only 25. It started after an accident.
  • Welcome to Spine-Health.

    I had severe herniations and bone spurring at C4-7 (3-lvls), along with facet arthropathy (arthritis) and here's what happened with my arms before I was diagnosed and leading up to surgery.

    The first thing I experienced was each afternoon while at work, in the afternoon I would suddenly experience painful goosebumps on both arms, then my arms would get really cold, then they would be very painful, the skin was painful to touch. This cycle would happen daily for about a week.

    Then, I started having major pain in the middle of my back that sent me to my PCP because it was so bad. I was sent for x-rays, she told me my neck had issues and sent me to PT. It worked for a couple for a couple of weeks, then stopped and she sent me to an MRI. During this time, I started having additional arm problems such as tingling 24/7 in my entire right arm and hand, and pain in my left arm. When my PCP saw my MRI, she said I needed a surgeon.

    I went to the surgeon who said that he could try ESIs, but they probably wouldn't work, would only be a bandaid if they did anything at all, and that it wasn't a matter of if I had surgery but when. So, being September, I decided on surgery so I would be done by spring and able to play golf. My surgery was scheduled for October 21, 2008, just over one month later.

    During that time, my left arm started getting extremely weak, to the point that I couldn't even pick up a glass of water. I also experienced severe pain that felt like tennis elbow, but turned out to be the radiculopathy from my cervical problems. By the time I went to surgery, both of my arms were a mess with the symptoms listed above, but getting more severe by the day.

    After surgery, all the symtoms were gone.

    So, that's what can happen with your arms when you have severe cervical problems. Long story, but I wanted you to know just how severe your arms can be affected.

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