Radiculitis is the medical term for symptoms which radiate along the course of a nerve, thought to be due to inflammation affecting that nerve.
Radiculopathy is the medical term for what occurs with sustained irritation, interference and inflammation on a nerve, where perhaps the oxygen level to the nerve tissue is impeded and the nerve tissue itself starts to become sick.
Sick nerves don’t transmit nerve signals as well so hence: Numbness, tingling, pain, &/or weakness to the shoulder blade, shoulder, arm, forearm, wrist, hand, &/or fingers.
Often we consult with patients, who are unaware that their symptoms may be emanating upstream from a nerve, or even the brain.
Common brain problems which can create referred symptoms include stroke and multiple sclerosis.
Notice in the above picture how the fingers, forearm, arm, shoulder, and neck are each a different color. This illustrates how a different spinal nerve level in the neck supplies different parts of the body.
Neck (cervical spine) nerve’s supply:
C1 through C3 neck nerves may affect the neck, upper back, shoulder, and/or chest.
C4 and C5 neck nerves may affect the shoulder, upper chest, upper arm, and/or upper back.
C6 neck nerves may affect the outside part of the elbow, elbow, forearm, thumb, index fingers, and/or upper back. Muscles which flex your elbow may be weak.
C7 and C8 neck nerves may affect the inside part of the elbow, forearm, and/or fingers. Grip strength may be weak & the patient may report that they ‘drop’ things.