Screening for the red flags of low back pain

Back pain is not just an inevitable part of growing older

Carole is a 60-year-old registered nurse who works at the local hospital.

She presents with severe pain in her back and the anterior part of her right leg.

The leg feels weak and she has difficulty standing. Like many older nurses, she has her share of low back pain. She uses occasional paracetamol but no other medications.

Carole is under investigation for mild hypothyroidism, and lives with her daughter. When questioned, she confirms that the pain is worse with any movement but particularly with coughing or straining.