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When should back pain be taken seriously?


Back pain can be scary, but it doesn't need to be. Around 98% of back pain is due to benign pathology and current guidelines employed by DHG help differentiate the causes and identify potential underlying serious pathology.

These guidelines identify ‘red flag’ symptoms that may indicate a more serious underlying cause and if you experience back pain alongside any of the signs/symptoms listed below, medical investigation is likely warranted.

Red flag symptoms:


History of cancer

Unexpected/unexplained weight loss

Significant trauma

Suspicion of fracture

Unexplained fever, signs of infection

Constant 24hr pain/severe night pain

Loss of bladder/bowel control


A physio can help determine the cause of back pain, provide management and treatment strategies to help with pain and also refer onwards if indicated.




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