Spinecare Topics

  • By: ISA Content Team
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Evaluation of Spinal Disorders
Red Flags

There are certain signs and symptoms that spine specialists know could represent a potentially serious spine disorder; these signs and symptoms are sometimes referred to as “red flags�. These presentations usually require a comprehensive workup and timely intervention. The list below represents some of the red flags.

Neck or back symptoms associated with one or more of the following presentations:

  • Known or previous cancer
  • Bowel or bladder dysfunction
  • Recent spinal trauma
  • Pain unrelieved by rest or any postural modification
  • Pain unchanged despite care for 2-4 weeks
  • Pain associated with antalgia and inability to stay still or inability to move
  • Colicky pain or pain associated with abnormal organ (viscera) function
  • Fever or known immunosuppressed status
  • High risk for fracture (older age, osteoporosis, chronic steroid therapy)
  • Numbness or tingling in the trunk and/one or more extremity when moving the neck (L’hermitte’s Sign)
  • Associated fatigue, malaise, and/or weight loss
  • Progressive neurological impairment (weakness, sensory loss)
  • Severe morning stiffness as the primary complaint
  • Symptoms causing a patient to be unable to care for themselves.

Educational Partners


To learn more about your spine. spinehealth, and available spinecare go to the International Spine Assocition (ISA) at www.spineinformation.org. The primary mission of the ISA is to improve spinehealth and spinecare through education. The ISA is committed to disseminating need-to-know information throught the World Wide Web in numerous languages covering many topics related to the spine, including information about spine disorders, spine heath, advances in technology and available spinecare

All health information posted on the site is based on the latest research and national treatment standards, and have been written or reviewed and appoved by the American Acedemy of Spine Physicians and/or International Spine Association physicians or health professionals unless otherwise specified.

The information provided on this site is designed to support. not replace,
the relationship that exists between patient/site visitor and his/her physician.