Back pain is more often than not a benign issue. It is a common complaint and typically resolves either with the support of a health professional such as myself or sometimes the issue quickly goes away by itself.
However, there are situations where there is something more sinister going on.
A red flag.
This means that there is something causing your symptoms that is not just muscular aches, joint issues, misalignment or aberrant patterns of tension.
For example, many many people around the world today will have a headache at the end of their working day. This headache is possibly due to dehydration, postural tension or stress. A common issue that occurs due to common causes.
For some, however, their headache will be a sign of something much more serious that needs to be addressed by going straight to the hospital.
So what about back ache? What are the red flags to look out for that may indicate that there is something else going on?
Here are five examples:
- Urinary or bowel incontinence and/or numbness in this saddle area
- Recent trauma – a car accident or sporting injury
- Recent infection
- A history of malignancy and/or unexplained weight loss
- “Sciatica” in both legs
There are other examples of where there could be a bigger problem brewing. These are just a a few red flags to consider.
My hope is that this gets you thinking about the overall picture. Your back pain may have started a month ago, but perhaps your infection was two months ago. This is why health care professionals will always ask you how your overall health has been in recent months. Have you noticed anything new or different? You may not think that numbness in your saddle area is relevant but it is important to disclose all health changes (minor to major) that you have noticed prior to attending your appointment.
If you are concerned about your symptoms and a possible red flag, contact a suitable health professional as soon as possible.
When attending for care with myself, a thorough history and examination is carried out before any care is considered. If I believe my care is not suitable and you need a referral, I will refer you.
If you have any further questions regarding this topic of red flags in back pain please do not hesitate to contact the clinic here.
Natural Back Health is a private professional service providing gentle, low force and safe therapy to bring about relief and recovery. I have a whole health and body philosophy to my care, hence I do not just discuss the best stretch for your back pain. My plan of care generally includes tailored advice on stress management, nutrition, exercise, sleep and in-house gentle manual therapy.
Hopefully you find the general information in this blog informative and helpful, however it is not intended to replace medical advice and should not be used as such.