Most low back pain (LBP) isn’t serious and will go away on its own. The cause of the pain often remains a mystery. Even with all of today’s technology and advanced imaging available, there seems to be no clear cause of LBP for many patients.
But doctors do look for what they refer to as red flags. These are signs that something more serious is going on and needs closer attention. Some of these red flags are signs and symptoms the patient reports. Others are part of the patient’s medical history.
A few of the more common findings that require medical attention include:
A medical exam will reveal any deformities or loss of motion. The doctor will look for other signs that something more than ordinary back pain is present. X-rays are not routinely taken because the results can be perfectly normal in someone with chronic back pain. But if there are any suspicious red flags, then the physician may investigate further.