Lower Back Pain - Red Flags
Over 80 % of adults will experience lower back pain at some time during their lives. Most of the time it is a musculoskeletal problem. However, it is very important to rule out other causes of lower back pain by asking the right questions.
How old is the patient? Pain in those younger than 20 and older than 50 can indicate that non-musculoskeletal issues should be considered.
Was there a trauma? Auto-accident, slip and fall, collision in sports. This could indicate a fracture and/or internal damage.
Where is the pain? Pain in the lower back with radiating pain down the legs or pain in the kidney or abdominal areas could mean anything from disc issues to a kidney stone.
Is there a history of cancer? Any person with a prior history of cancer should be screened for metastasis or spread of the cancer.
Is there a history of an immunosuppressive disease – AIDS, HIV?
Are there any neurological signs and symptoms like electric shock pain down the legs or change is bladder or bowel function?
Is there a history of fevers and/or significant weight loss?
Is there more pain when lying down, when at rest, at night?
Is the pain rapidly escalating?
If you have any of these signs and symptoms, a complete examination is the prudent thing to have done!