When it comes to low-back pain, prevention by stretching and exercising is the most important thing people can do. Benjamin Franklin said it best, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Prevention can only go so far sometimes, and life may happen where someone gets into a serious car accident. Regardless if your low-back pain can be explained or not, there are some red flags for low back pain to look out for:
- Sustained major trauma
- Numbness or tingling in groin
- Severe pain with fever
- Loss of motor control
- Loss of bowel or bladder function
- Severe immobility
- Unable to walk
- Unexplained weight loss
If one or more of these symptoms are present, seeking professional help is highly recommended because those red flags are often a result of a major underlying condition that needs to be identified and treated properly. Also, if you have back pain that isn’t getting better (or has plateaued) no matter what therapies you have done, seeking a professional is still a good idea because they may assist in identifying and treating what the root cause of the low back pain is.
Samanta J, Kendall J, and Samanta A. Chronic low back pain. BMJ. 2003; 326: 535.
Koes BW, Van Tulder M, Thomas S. Diagnosis and treatment of low back pain. BMJ. 2006 Jun 15; 322(7555): 1430-1434.