A pinched nerve that affects the neck and shoulder area can be caused by injuries such as vehicular accidents as well as conditions such as osteoarthritis, bone spurs or even a tumor. The actual pinched nerve takes place in the neck region which controls certain nerves and reflexes in the shoulder. The symptoms a pinched nerve in the neck and shoulder typically include muscle weakness, pain, numbness and tingling sensation.
Neck and shoulder pain
A pinched nerve in the cervical region specifically at the C5 nerve root can cause pain in the neck and shoulder. Individuals who experience this type of injury are usually between 40-50 years old. In case the pain originates from a herniated disc, the jelly-like fluid within the disc is pushing against the nerve root, thus causing radiating pain from the back of the neck to the shoulder. Degenerative condition or osteoarthritis can cause the foramen to exert pressure on the C5 nerve. The pain can be intense that it hurts when sneezing or coughing. Additionally, the individual can also experience shooting pain that occurs in an intermittent manner.
Pain in the neck and shoulder weakness
Just like in any condition, a pinched nerve that affects the neck and shoulder can cause varying symptoms. In some cases, there is a dull ache or tightness in the neck muscles that can spread in an outward manner and cause weakness along the trapezius muscles as well as those in the shoulder scapula. Take note that this weakness can also affect the four muscles in the rotator cuff area. The shoulder weakness due to a pinched nerve is considered as a loss in motor function. It is important to consult a doctor to determine the exact cause of the weakness so that proper treatment can be provided.
Numbness and tingling sensation
The numbness and tingling sensation from a pinched nerve in the cervical area typically occurs once the nerve compression cuts off the nutrients that facilitates the transmission of nerve signals to reach the brain. The numbness and tingling can occur in an intermittent manner in certain areas of the shoulder or under the arms. The sensation can feel like the area the asleep as if the flow of blood is blocked. The numbness and tingling can indicate that the nerve fiber is dying or ceased to function properly. It is best to consult a doctor so that the exact nature of the problem can be determined and the suitable treatment can be started.
Once the individual experiences neck or shoulder pain, there is a possibility of a pinched nerve. Even if first aid care was provided, it is still important to take the individual to a doctor or seek emergency assistance so that the exact cause can be determined and the right treatment can be given as soon as possible.