Red Flag or Warning Symptoms
RED FLAGS OR WARNING SYMPTOMS
SEE YOUR GENERAL PRACTITIONER IF
- The pain is so severe that it wakes you from sleep and does not allow you to get back to sleep
- Patients over age 50 with back pain for the first time in your life.
- Back pain is associated with night sweats or fever
- Any symptoms of numbness or pins and needles in the area between a patient’s legs or around the back passage should seek urgent medical advice as an emergency through GP or Accident and Emergency. These symptoms can be caused by a condition called Cauda Equina which can require immediate surgery
- Any symptoms of incontinence of faeces or an inability to pass urine should likewise seek emergency medical advice to exclude cauda equina syndrome.
- Sciatica (leg pains) suddenly change to involve both legs
- Severe back or neck pain after a fall or accident should always be assessed by GP or Accident and Emergency.
If the episodes of acute pain settle but frequently recur and are interfering with your activities or work then further advice from a specialist may be sought to find a diagnosis and discuss treatment options.