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The Red Flags of Back Pain

By Sara Butler

Back pain is really common. But even with the likelihood you'll experience it in your life there’s also a good chance it will go away on its own. Even severe pain can be treated and made better within six weeks with visits to your chiropractor. In an overwhelming majority of the cases, there’s no serious condition associated with the back pain either, it’s just there. There are times when an underlying condition is definitely to blame for your back pain; here is when to worry it could be something more serious.

Basic Back Facts

While the human body is an incredible machine, the fact that humans walk upright presents its fair share of challenges. The biggest challenge your body faces with this posture is the strain and stress placed on your back. Your spine is tough and sturdy and still flexible, yet all that gravity can sure take its toll on the bones and discs in your back over time.

The structure of the spine is very complicated, and because of that, there’s ample opportunity for an injury that leads to pain. Poor posture is a major cause of back pain and is compounded by the amount of time people spend hunched over desks. This is part of the reason regular chiropractic care is so important – to catch the little things before they become much larger problems. But, should you ever experience any of these red flag symptoms associated with back pain, you should seek help immediately.

The Red Flag Symptoms

If you experience any of these symptoms, known as red flag symptoms, you should seek medical care:

  • Sudden weakness in foot or leg
  • Numbness in the legs
  • Constant pain not made better by rest
  • Pain that gets progressively worse
  • Loss of bladder or bowel function
  • Pain that gets better with activity
  • Pain in your back behind your ribs

Some of these red flags may seem counterintuitive, but you need to be aware of them for that very reason. For example, pain that gets better with exercise and activity may indicate a herniated or slipped disc, according to WebMD. So make sure to scrutinize any symptoms you have and seek a professional opinion if you experience any of them.


Experiencing any of the above red flags should inspire you to get to your chiropractor or another medical professional immediately. They will perform tests to see if they can determine what’s going on. In the case of a chiropractor at The Joint, they can refer you to another facility if they believe x-rays or other specialized tests are needed.

The important thing to remember is not to just grin and bear the pain – it’s your body’s warning system. Pay attention and get into The Joint Chiropractic right away!

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