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Automobile Collisions / Workers' Compensation

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Cervical Radiculopathy Anatomy

Cervical radiculopathy following a work-related injury can reference a serious workers compensation claim in Wisconsin. Neck pain has many causes. Mechanical neck pain comes from injury or inflammation in the soft tissues of the neck. This is much different and less concerning than symptoms that come from pressure on the nerve roots as they exit the spinal column. People sometimes refer to this problem as a pinched nerve. Health care providers call it cervical radiculopathy.

The following blog posts will discuss in the context of a Wisconsin workers compensation claim, how cervical radiculopathy develops, how doctors diagnose the condition and what treatment options are available.  This in general information only and not medical advice, which should only be obtained from health care professionals.

The spine is made of a column of bones. Each bone, or vertebra, is formed by a round block of bone, called a vertebral body. A bony ring attaches to the back of the vertebral body. When the vertebra bones are stacked on top of each other, the bony rings forms a long bony tube that surrounds and protects the spinal cord as it passes through the spine.

Traveling from the brain down through the spinal column, the spinal cord sends out nerve branches through openings on both sides of each vertebra. These openings are called the neural foramina. (The term used to describe a single opening is foramen.)

The intervertebral disc sits directly in front of the opening. A bulged or herniated disc can narrow the opening and put pressure on the nerve. A facet joint sits in back of the foramen. Bone spurs that form on the facet joint can project into the tunnel, narrowing the hole and pinching the nerve.

An intervertebral disc fits between the vertebral bodies and provides a space between the spine bones. The disc normally works like a shock absorber. An intervertebral disc is made of two parts. The center, called the nucleus, is spongy. It provides most of the shock absorption. The nucleus is held in place by the annulus, a series of strong ligament rings surrounding it. Ligaments are strong connective tissues that attach bones to other bones.

Cervical radiculopathy can be caused by a single traumatic accident at work or it may develop over time from physical job duties that slowly pound down the muscles, tendons, ligaments and spinal segments until a nerve is impinged or pinched, resulting in the pain and/or numbness associated with cervical radiculopathy. Workers compensation in Wisconsin should cover cervical radiculopathy if the mechanism of injury is consistent with the condition and an expert doctor gives the requisite expert opinion on causation. McCormick Law Office attorneys in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Believe in better.

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