Pinched Nerve - In Neck

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Did you have an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI to diagnose your pinched nerve in the neck?

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How is a pinched nerve diagnosed?

The doctor will begin by asking the patient various questions about his or her pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, and other symptoms. The patient may also be asked about other medical conditions, work history, and family medical history. This information can often assist in identifying the nerve(s) affected.

The doctor will then examine the part of the body involved. This may include testing the patient's strength, sensation, and muscle tone in specific muscles. Depending on the results of the medical history and the physical examination, the patient may need additional tests.

If the doctor suspects the patient has a pinched nerve (compression of the nerves) in the neck or lower back, X-rays may be necessary to assess possible injury to the spine or arthritis of the spine. Depending on the severity and duration of the patient's symptoms, he or she may also need a CT scan or an MRI scan. These imaging studies provide additional information about a pinched nerve not seen on regular X-rays, and can provide additional information in preparation for surgical intervention if necessary.

The doctor may also recommend specific tests for the affected nerve including a nerve conduction study or an electromyography (EMG). In the nerve conduction study, the test stimulates the nerves with a mild electrical impulse and measures speed of the impulse traveling in the nerve. In the EMG, a small needle is placed into the muscle while the patient contracts the muscle to measure the electrical activity of the muscles.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: patrick, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 27

I have a bulge next to my spine in my neck, which is a pinched nerve that causes pain in my neck, chest, and back. Also, I have weakness in my arm and pain that radiates down to my hand. I was in an accident and now have pain on my right side too. I'm taking gabapentin but considering changing over to Lyrica.

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Comment from: anners39, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 28

A pinched nerve in my neck was diagnosed after an MRI. I have been suffering from terrible intermittent headaches and pain in my arms and legs. My doctor has prescribed diazepam and 30/500 co-codamol.

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