Don’t perform imaging for low back pain within the first six weeks unless red flags are present. note: Red flags include, but are not limited to, severe or progressive neurologic deficits or when serious underlying conditions such as osteomyelitis are suspected.
|Rationale and Comments:||Imaging of the lumbar spine before six weeks does not improve outcomes, but does increase costs. Low back pain is the fifth most common reason for all physician visits.|
|References:||• Agency for Health Care Policy and Research
• Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews