Objective: To determine if there is an association between cervical radiculopathy and tender spots in the neck and upper extremity on the side of radiculopathy. Design: Prospective cross-sectional study. Setting: Outpatient spine clinic within an academic institution. Participants: Convenience sample of 16 subjects with unilateral cervical radiculopathy. Twelve subjects had C7 radiculopathy and 4 had C6 or C8 radiculopathy. Intervention: Bilateral pain-pressure threshold measurement (14 muscles) of the neck and upper extremity. Main Outcome Measure: Side-to-side difference in pain-pressure threshold. Results: Differences in frequency of tender spots were found only in the deltoid and flexor carpi radialis. Overall, more tender spots were found on the side of radiculopathy (75 vs 34, P<.01). Among subjects with C7 radiculopathy, the number of tender spots in C7 innervated muscles was greater on the side of radiculopathy (23 vs 7, P<.02). In contrast, no significant difference in the number of tender spots between sides was found when only non-C7 innervated muscles (P>0.1) were considered. Conclusions: Cervical radiculopathy was associated with increased tender spots on the side of radiculopathy, with predilection toward muscles innervated by the involved nerve root.
- Trigger points
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