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Here is a list of the main problems and concerns we would recommend you get checked out by a health professional before commencing self-management exercises. These are called Red Flags and may indicate a more serious problem that requires medical assessment.
WARNING: Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES): This a rare but extremely serious spinal condition that requires immediate assessment.
If you are experiencing the symptoms described in (1) or (2) below, then please have these checked out URGENTLY – usually your GP if within normal hours (8:30-6pm) or call NHS24 on 111 at other times.
(1) Significant changes in your bowel or bladder habits and/or sexual function. This includes difficulty passing or controlling your urine flow/ signs of recent bowel incontinence.
(2) Changes to sensation in between your legs e.g. difficulty feeling the toilet paper when you are wiping your bottom.
If symptoms are caused by a traumatic incident to your back (e.g. a fall, car accident), please have this checked out by a health professional before commencing with an exercise program.
NOTE: If you have underlying low bone density (e.g. osteoporosis) or long-term steroid use then smaller amounts of force may cause problems that require medical assessment.
If you feel any of the following signs develop rapidly or over a longer period of time please have these checked out by a health professional.
NOTE: Special attention should be taken if you have a history of long-term steroid/ immunosuppressive drug use, recent joint replacement, dental surgery or steroid injection. Rheumatoid arthritis or other joint disease, recent infection, previous history of tuberculosis, intravenous drug use or alcoholism