Shoulder / Arm

Cervical Plexus Neuralgia

What is cervical plexus neuralgia?

The nerve roots that arise in the spinal column of the neck first make up a network of nerves in the neck. This is known as the cervical plexus. From this network come the separate nerves that go to the arm and the hand. Damage to the cervical plexus causes pain.

Cause

The most common cause of this condition is a serious accident, but damage to this network of nerves can also be caused by sports injuries, stab wounds, and operations in this area.

Signs and symptoms

As well as varying degrees of paralysis and loss of feeling, neuropathic pain in the arm is the biggest problem. This pain is continually present and is of a burning or stabbing character. At a later stage there are attacks of stabbing and shooting pain. This pain normally occurs at the end of the arms: the lower arm, the hand and the fingers.

How is cervical plexus neuralgia diagnosed?

Neurological examination concentrates particularly on paralysis and loss of feeling in the arms.

Do I need additional examinations?

  • Diagnostic examination for other non-physical factors important for your pain, have already been done by yourself trough filling out your pain questionnaires.
  • Additional examinations in case of a serious accident: X-rays, CT scan and MRI scan.
  • CT scan with contrast around the spinal cord
  • EMG and SSEP

 

What are my treatment possibilities?

Multidisciplinary treatment

Depending on the cause of your pain, your pain specialist will decide whether or not to start physical treatment. Based on the results of the completed pain questionnaire, additional examinations can be carried out, and apart from physical treatment other methods of treatment will be suggested.

Non-physical treatment

If the results of your pain questionnaire are abnormal, your pain specialist will offer you one of the non-physical treatments listed below:

Physical Treatment

Medication

Other Treatment

Interventional pain treatment

Invasive treatment

  • Operation by a neurosurgeon for repair of the plexus