Recognizing, Diagnosing and Managing Emergent Causes of Low Back Pain - RAD780

Recognizing, Diagnosing and Managing Emergent Causes of Low Back Pain

by Ross Kalman, MD
(4.6 / 62 ratings )

This course is credentialed for:
Radiologic Technology (1.25 CE Credit)

Price: $10.00
CE-PRO Price: $5.00


Low back pain is a common complaint that will present in a variety of practice settings including the Emergency Department, primary care office, urgent care, and rehabilitation facility. While most cases of acute low back pain are benign, self-limited, and musculoskeletal in origin, a small minority can be life-threatening. Thus, it is critical to identify red flag signs and symptoms that point to “can’t miss” serious diagnoses that might lead to permanent disability or death if not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner. The goal of this course is to provide clinicians with a focused and structured approach for differentiating patients who have benign causes of pain from those who will need a medical workup and possibly advanced imaging.


The goal of this program is to help providers in various practice settings distinguish life-threatening causes of low back pain from nonspecific, musculoskeletal presentations. After studying the information presented here, you will be able to:
  • Recognize the important anatomic and pathophysiologic components of low back pain
  • Identify red flag signs and symptoms in the history and physical exam that suggest potentially life-threatening pathology
  • Distinguish situations when emergent imaging studies are warranted from situations when it is best to take a conservative approach to management
  • Identify the importance of collaboration and communication among various healthcare providers, including physicians, nurses, and physical and occupational therapists
  • Recognize that a multidisciplinary approach is the key to treating acute and chronic low back pain

Accreditation Information
This course is intended for an interprofessional audience, including physicians, nurses, physical therapists, and imaging and radiation therapists.
Imaging and radiation therapists: Take this version of the course to ensure you receive appropriate credit.
For the version accredited or approved for another profession, go to your specific profession at or If you have a CE Direct login ID and password (generally provided by your employer), please log in as you normally would at and search for this topic title.
This activity is approved for credit by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) for 6/3/2019 to 7/1/2020.
This activity may be available in multiple formats or from different sponsors. ASRT regulations state that an individual may not repeat a self-learning activity for credit if it was reported in the same or any subsequent biennium.

Course Originally Released on: 5/15/2019
Date of Most Recent Review: 5/15/2019
Course Termination/Update Date: 7/1/2020

Unless stated above, the planners and authors of this course have declared no relevant conflicts of interest that relate to this educational activity. Relias LLC guarantees this educational activity is free from bias.

Please see CE Course Instructions to learn how to earn CE credit for this module.

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June N - Wilton, ND  ·  Dec 11, 2019
Very interesting information. Thought it needed to pertain more to imaging.
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catherine l - debary, FL  ·  Nov 25, 2019
relevant and useful to work
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Brian R - Wahpeton, ND  ·  Nov 21, 2019
learned about back pain
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Reagon T - Denton, TX  ·  Nov 20, 2019
it was great. THanks for making me write this.
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Courtney S - Lakeland, FL  ·  Nov 19, 2019
informative; helpful and useful information
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Price: $10.00
CE-PRO Price: $5.00