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What are warnings that could mean a serious back pain problem?

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"Red flags" that could point to a serious back pain problem include:

  • A history of cancer
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • You have been on steroids or medication that weakens your immune system
  • A history of trauma
  • Pain that is getting worse and does not get better after you rest
  • Pain that has lasted more than a month
  • Nighttime pain
  • Unresponsive to earlier back pain therapies
  • A history of IV drug use

SOURCES: Oh, W. January/February 2004.  The Clinical Journal of Pain,

Friedman, F. Lyons Press, 2004. Outwitting Back Pain: Why Your Lower Back Hurts and How to Make It Stop,

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on July 22, 2017

SOURCES: Oh, W. January/February 2004.  The Clinical Journal of Pain,

Friedman, F. Lyons Press, 2004. Outwitting Back Pain: Why Your Lower Back Hurts and How to Make It Stop,

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on July 22, 2017

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What besides pain are symptoms of back problems?

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