You are currently viewing Neck Pain With Radiculopathy : Mnemonic

Here is a quick mnemonic ” ACUTE NECK PAIN to remember about Neck Pain With Radiculopathy.

This can be valuable for patients as well as medical doctors, nurses & students doing their clinical rounds. You can also find it very useful for med exams like USMLE, NEET PG, FMGE, NExT & NCLEX exams

Neck pain with radiculopathy refers to a condition characterized by discomfort or soreness in the neck area, accompanied by the radiating pain, numbness, or weakness that extends down the arm.

This condition is often caused by compression or irritation of the spinal nerves as they exit the cervical spine. Common causes include herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, or bone spurs.

The symptoms of neck pain with radiculopathy can significantly impact one’s daily activities, causing difficulty in moving the neck, limited range of motion, and discomfort while performing routine tasks.

Neck Pain With Radiculopathy : How To Remember Easily ?

  • A – Acetaminophen or NSAIDs with or without muscle relaxants are reasonable initial therapies for acute neck pain with radiculopathy due to disk disease.

  • C – Clinical improvement over time regardless of therapeutic intervention is common in many cases of acute neck pain.

  • U – Avoidance of activities that trigger symptoms and gentle supervised exercise are reasonable for managing acute neck pain.

  • T – Soft cervical collars can be helpful in limiting spontaneous and reflex neck movements that exacerbate pain, but hard collars are generally poorly tolerated.

  • E – Epidural steroids administered under imaging guidance can be effective for acute or subacute disk-related cervical radicular pain, but injection-related complications are possible.

  • N – Periodic follow-up to assess for progression is indicated in cases of cervical radiculopathy due to bony compression from cervical spondylosis with foraminal narrowing.

  • E – Emergency department use and short-term outpatient use of opioid analgesics can be considered for managing acute neck pain.

  • C – Consideration of surgical decompression is reasonable in cases of cervical radiculopathy due to bony compression from cervical spondylosis with foraminal narrowing.

  • K – Surgical treatments for cervical radiculopathy include anterior cervical diskectomy alone, laminectomy with diskectomy, or diskectomy with fusion.

  • P – The natural history of acute neck pain with radiculopathy due to disk disease is favorable, and many patients will improve without specific therapy.

  • A – A short course of high-dose oral glucocorticoids with a rapid taper can be effective for managing acute or subacute disk-related cervical radicular pain.

  • I – Indications for cervical disk surgery include a progressive motor deficit due to nerve root compression, functionally limiting pain that fails to respond to conservative management, or spinal cord compression.

  • N – The risk of subsequent radiculopathy or myelopathy at cervical segments adjacent to a fusion is about 3% per year and 26% per decade.


Dr. Arin Nandi

Passionate About Medical Science & Helping Future Doctors Achieve Top Ranks In Medical Exams. He is professionally a dentist as well as a public health expert from JIPMER (1), (2)working in health department