Red Flags for Low Back Pain

Christopher Demers, MD

Download Newsletter Vol. 1 No. 1 (2013)

Sierra Neurosurgery Group Newsletter - April 2013Low Back pain is a very common diagnosis. It is the second most common reason to seek medical attention, and accounts for 15% of all sick leave from work. In many instances, back pain will resolve without treatment. However, there are ‘Red Flags’ that should raise suspicion and concern.

  • Cancer
  • Age greater than 50
  • History of previous cancer
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Night-time pain
  • History of IV Drug Use
  • Diabetes
  • Systemic Unwellness
  • Fever/chills
  • Known immune suppression
  • Urinary Retention
  • Fecal Incontinence
  • Pain not improved with rest
  • Fracture
  • History of trauma
  • Prolonged us of steroids
  • Age >70
  • Motor weakness
  • Thoracic pain (very uncommon)
  • Failure to improve after ~6 weeks

If you would like us to see a patient, or even if you have questions about how to proceed with a workup, don’t hesitate to call Sierra Neurosurgery Group at (775)323-2080.