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Low Back Pain "Red Flags" Should Not Be Ignored

Low Back Pain "Red Flags" Should Not Be Ignored

Low back pain is a very common problem significantly affecting most adults at some point in their life time. Back pain  can be a rather benign condition or it can develop into a serious condition that may require surgery. Most back pain is mechanical pain due to abnormal movement of the joints and poorly functioning lumbar support muscles. Back pain can also be due to a disc herniation which often causes pain to radiate down the back of the leg which is called sciatica.  Back pain can be a vsymptom of a very serious problem that can result in permanent disability. Back pain can even be an indicator of cancer. Your doctor of chiropractic should obtain a thorough medical history and provide  a thorough examination to determine the cause of your back pain. There are a few indicators that can accompany low back pain that may indicate a more serious problem and they usually require additional evaluation and testing. These are often called the  "red flags" of back pain because they may indicate a serious, even life threatening condition. 

1. History of cancer.
2. Weight loss without trying to lose weight.
3. Prolonged use of steroids or other medication known to weaken the immune system.
4. History of significant trauma.
5. Pain that is getting worse and is not made better by rest.
6. Pain that has persisted for over a month.
7. Pain that wakes you up at night from a dead sleep.
8. Pain that is unresponsive to treatment for back pain.
9. A past history of using IV drugs. 
10. Numbness of the groin know as saddle dysesthesia. 
11. Pain with no known cause in a patient over 50 years old. 

If you have back pain, see your doctor of chiropractic. Help your doctor make the right diagnosis by providing a complete history and describing your symptoms in as much detail as you can. Dr. Greg Crawford D.C. has been helping people with back pain using chiropractic, physical therapy modalities and acupuncture for over 30 years. He can be contacted for an appointment  at Foothills Chiropractic, 1337 East Prospect Road Fort Collins, CO 80525 (970) 493-2105 http://ftcollinschiropractor.com

http://www.gloshospitals.nhs.uk/en/Wards-and-Departments/Departments/Pain-Management/Different-Pains/Back-Pain-Draft/Red-Flags-in-Back-Pain/
http://www.aafp.org/afp/1999/1115/p2299.html
http://www.spinal-healthcare.com/red-flags.php
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/779987

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