Evaluation and treatment of cervical radiculopathy: a case study




Smith, Corey

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Angelo State University. Department of Physical Therapy.


This case report documents the evaluation and evidence-based treatment of a patient who had a presentation consistent with cervical radiculopathy. The patient highlighted in this report is a 30-year-old male diagnosed with bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome. He had numbness and tingling in both hands, especially the right, not limited to median nerve distribution of either hand. The physical therapy evaluation pointed to cervical radiculopathy as the primary cause of the symptoms following patient subjective report of his symptoms, special testing, and passive accessory intervertebral motion testing. Treatment was focused on decreasing intensity of numbness and tingling along with increasing grip and upper body strength. The therapist utilized 5 outcome measures: grip strength, cervical range of motion, manual muscle testing, the Neck Disability Index, and the QuickDASH. Of these outcome measures, the therapist was only able to re-evaluate grip strength and cervical range of motion. After the plan of care, the patient demonstrated increased cervical rotation ROM and grip strength objectively and reported decreased intensity of symptoms and increased time to symptom onset when working and exercising. This case report demonstrates an effective, evidence-based approach to physical therapy evaluation and treatment for a patient with cervical radiculopathy.