Reading The Signs: Red Flags to Look Out For to Prevent Back Problems

Reading The Signs: Red Flags to Look Out For to Prevent Back Problems

Back pain can really throw a spanner into living life to the fullest. A lot of back pain is caused by lifestyle factors such as lack of exercise, obesity, sitting for long periods of time, poor posture, stress and bad work practices. Most back pain is benign and will return to normal through treatment or spontaneously, in its own time, but there are some cases where it can become an ongoing problem. In the event of back pain it is important to seek diagnosis from a qualified chiropractor, and it is recommended to change to supportive furniture to ensure that this is not an issue. Here are some of the red flags to look out for to prevent ongoing back problems.


One red flag that is used to diagnose whether back pain is going to be a long term problem is the age of onset. If the patient is over 55 or under 20 it could point to an issue that will need immediate treatment, such as the presence of disease, which could go on to cause further damage if not treated. If there is onset after the age of 55 it can point to abdominal aortic aneurysm, which will need specialist treatment and surgery.

Spontaneous Onset

Often there are clues as to what has caused the back pain, such as trauma or injury, but if it begins spontaneously without any obvious cause, this is a red flag that may indicate disease is present. Having said that, only about 15% of mechanical spine disorders are caused by disease, so it is important to seek medical advice before worrying, as stress could cause the pain to worsen unnecessarily.


If back pain is ongoing for more than 6 weeks, it could point to any number of different causes such as cancer or infection. If upon seeking medical advice, it appears that there is no medical cause, it could point to an environmental issue, which thankfully can be easily rectified in most cases. Sleeping on a bad mattress can cause any number of issues for your back, so it is worth paying the extra money to have a mattress that will support the back during slumber. To learn more, visit sites such as Chiropedic and discover the benefits of having a chiropedic mattress.


The presence of back pain with fever could be an indicator of the presence of cancer in the body, and medical examination and diagnosis should be sought immediately.

Neurological Deficit

A neurological aspect to the back pain can indicate that there is spinal cord or nerve root compression, which is treated with surgery.

Severe Nocturnal or Disabling Pain

If the back pain occurs mostly at night, and/or is disabling, this could also point to the presence of cancer in the body.

Spinal Tenderness

Tenderness over the spine suggests infection, particularly if there are other factors that evident in the symptoms. Worsening of pain through use will indicate intervertebral disc disease or spinal stenosis.

Back pain should not be taken lightly, especially if there is no obvious cause. The important thing to remember with back pain is that correct diagnosis could save your back, so it is important not to take matters into your own hands. It isn’t worth it to wait until you can barely move before seeking treatment, as you could be doing more damage than you think.

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