What are the findings on palpation in patients with cervical radiculopathy?

Updated: Oct 08, 2018
  • Author: Gerard A Malanga, MD; Chief Editor: Sherwin SW Ho, MD  more...
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  • On palpation, tenderness is usually noted along the cervical paraspinal muscles, and it is usually more pronounced along the ipsilateral side of the affected nerve root.

  • Muscle tenderness may be present along the muscles where the symptoms are referred (eg, medial scapula, proximal arm, lateral epicondyle).

  • Associated hypertonicity or spasm on palpation in these painful muscles may occur.

  • Letchuman et al showed that cervical radiculopathy is associated with increased tender spots (both trigger and tender points) on the side of the radiculopathy, with a predilection toward the muscles innervated by the involved nerve root. [13] This study revealed that not only pain, but also tenderness, may be referred in radiculopathy.

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