Detailed guides to painful problems, treatments & more

Back pain is rarely as dangerous as it feels, except when it is

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of PainScience.com: a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

The BBC on singer Talia Dean’s greatly delayed diagnosis of inflammatory back pain, a type of back pain that can cause severe disability: “Talia Dean: ‘My back pain was misdiagnosed for 15 years — now I can’t dance’.”

“You just make all these excuses, you know the whole world has a back ache, so I didn’t really think anything of it.” ~@taliadean

If you’re worried about your back pain, learn the red flags for more serious causes. Almost all the more serious causes of back pain have relatively clear signs and symptoms, especially over time. If you’re still not sure, go to a doctor, and push to make sure ominous causes actually get eliminated. There’s no reason, ever, why a doctor shouldn’t be willing to try to definitively eliminate such causes — if the back pain is severe and chronic, thorough investigation is always justified.

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