Physical examination findings of cervical radiculopathy
On inspection, observation of the neck and shoulder posture can be helpful. Flattening of the cervical spine could suggest degenerative change or muscle tightness. Neck stiffness can also allude to the severity of the patient’s pain as well. Limitation in range of motion can suggest soft tissue and muscle stiffness or arthritic changes that limit movement of the neck. Palpation of the cervical spinous processes or specific muscle groups can occur depending upon the injury. Manual muscle testing of strength should be performed to determine if there is any weakness along a myotomal distribution. Reflex testing is recommended. Provocative testing (Spurlings, Lhermitte), evaluation of gait, Hoffman’s testing, ankle clonus, and Babinski testing should be performed in neurologic testing.