Understanding Cervical and Thoracic Radiculopathy

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Cervical and thoracic radiculopathy are conditions that can cause pain, weakness, and numbness in the neck, shoulders, arms, and upper back. While the conditions can negatively impact quality of life, care from a Billings chiropractor can help to reduce symptoms and relieve pain. 

What Are Cervical and Thoracic Radiculopathy?

Cervical and thoracic radiculopathy are conditions that occur when nerves in the cervical (neck) and thoracic (upper back) regions of the spine become compressed or irritated. This compression can result from various factors, including herniated discs, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, or spinal misalignments (subluxations). 

When the nerves are affected, they can cause pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness along the nerve path, which typically extends into the shoulders, arms, and hands for cervical radiculopathy, and into the upper back and chest for thoracic radiculopathy.

Symptoms and Causes of Radiculopathy

The symptoms of cervical and thoracic radiculopathy can vary depending on the location and severity of nerve compression. Common symptoms may include:

  • Sharp or shooting pain in the neck, shoulders, arms, or upper back
  • Tingling or numbness in the affected areas
  • Weakness in the muscles of the arms or hands
  • Difficulty with fine motor skills or gripping objects

Causes of cervical and thoracic radiculopathy can range from acute injuries, such as whiplash or trauma, to degenerative conditions like arthritis or disc degeneration. Poor posture, repetitive motions, and spinal misalignments can also contribute to nerve compression and radiculopathy symptoms.

Preventing and Managing Radiculopathy 

If you think you may be developing problems like radiculopathy or want to prevent them from occurring, there are some self-care strategies you can use for better outcomes. Some methods to try include the following: 

  • Maintain proper posture by sitting up straight, avoiding slouching, and maintaining a neutral spine. 
  • Make ergonomic adjustments to your workspace to reduce strain. 
  • Engage in regular physical activity to improve strength, flexibility, and circulation. 
  • Practice stress management techniques like meditation, mindfulness, and relaxation techniques. 
  • Adopt healthy lifestyle habits such as proper nutrition, good hydration, regular sleep, and not smoking. 

Chiropractic Care for Radiculopathy

Chiropractic care offers a non-invasive and drug-free approach to managing cervical and thoracic radiculopathy. By addressing spinal misalignments and restoring proper alignment to the spine, chiropractors can alleviate pressure on the affected nerves and promote optimal nerve function. Chiropractic adjustments are gentle, yet effective, and can provide relief from pain, numbness, and weakness associated with radiculopathy.

Find Relief at Bare Chiropractic

Cervical and thoracic radiculopathy can significantly impact daily life, causing pain and discomfort in the neck, shoulders, arms, and upper back. However, with the right approach and with chiropractic care from Bare Chiropractic, relief is possible. By addressing the underlying causes of radiculopathy and restoring spinal health, chiropractic care can help you regain mobility, alleviate pain, and improve overall quality of life.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of cervical or thoracic radiculopathy, don’t wait for the pain to worsen. Seek expert care at Bare Chiropractic, where our experienced team is dedicated to providing gentle and effective solutions for spinal health issues. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!


Brouillette, D.L., Gurske, D.T. “Chiropractic treatment of cervical radiculopathy caused by a herniated cervical disc.” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 1994 Feb; 17 (2): 119-23. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8169540/ 

Young, I.A., Pozzi, F., Dunning, J., Linkonis, R., Michener, L.A. “Immediate and Short-term Effects of Thoracic Spine Manipulation in Patients With Cervical Radiculopathy: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” The Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, 2019 May; 49 (5): 299-309. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31021691/ 

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Schedule an Appointment

If you have been involved in a car accident or have suffered a personal injury, it is essential to seek immediate chiropractic care. At Bare Chiropractic, we are dedicated to providing individualized care tailored to your specific needs and goals. Book an appointment with Dr. Thomas Keogh and our team today to start your journey towards recovery and restoring your health.