Cervical radiculopathy (CR) is a problem that is frequently encountered by physical therapists. The incidence of CR in the fifth decade of life is 2.03%, approximately 3 times more prevalent than in other age groups. Radiculopathy is defined as any diseased condition of spinal nerve roots. Cervical radiculopathy, or disease to the nerve roots in the cervical spine, is manifested primarily by unilateral motor and sensory symptoms into the upper limb, muscle weakness, sensory alteration, and reflex hypoactivity. Generally, onset of CR is insidious and the most common causes are cervical disc lesions and osteophytic encroachment, which results in nerve root or spinal nerve impingement or inflammation. The purpose of this resident's case problem is to demonstrate the dynamics of the diagnostic process in determining the appropriate treatment for a patient with CR. Treatment selection and progression will use the treatment algorithm proposed by Erhard, combined with the information from history, physical examination findings, and the patient's response to treatment interventions during the course of rehabilitation.
J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2000;30(12):745-754.
Key words: cervical spine, nerve roots, rehabilitation