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Hey fellow athletes,


Lets review a handful of the most important things to rule out when you have low back pain.

Basically, this is the list that you look up on WebMD, and what it most likely is NOT.



So here is a list of some conditions that are life-threatening or potentially debilitating related to low back pain.


This article is about why you may be at increased risk for the conditions listed. 

  1. Back related tumor: you are significantly more likely to have cancer-related low back pain if you have a personal history of being diagnosed with cancer.
  2. Cauda equina syndrome: if you are retaining urine, experience saddle anesthesia (see this post), or numbness/tingling of the lower legs or feet.
  3. Back-related infection: if you are feverish and have low back pain, potential issues include tuberculosis osteomyelitis, pyogenic osteomyelitis or spinal epidural abscess.
  4. Spinal compression fracture: if you have been in a major trauma including car accident, fall from a high height or direct blow to the spine.
  5. Abdominal aneurysm: if you have a history of smoking


If you said “yes” to any one of those things, and have not spoken to a medical doctor, please do so now.


Other than that, the vast majority of “non-specific low back pain” will fall into a a bucket of bulging or herniated discs, osteophyte formation, nerve impingement, annular tears, sprains or strains, degenerative disc, facet joint dysfunction, sacroiliac dysfunction, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, osteoarthritis or a deformity.

Thats a long list…


A variety of tools help diagnose your cause of low back pain. X-rays, MRIs, CT scans or blood tests.

Physical therapists, massage therapists and chiropractors also have a different “lens” they use to evaluate a patient.


Some may diagnose muscles as being “tight”, having “knots” or “tense”. Others might diagnose based on movement like sacroiliac dysfunction or pelvic asymmetry. Some may say that “the spine is not aligned”, “misaligned”, or “out of place”.


Here is a reminder of what you need to know, with whatever you have been diagnosed with:


Go ahead, click that “Okay” button!


The human body is extremely intelligent and has some of the most resilient hardware manufactured in the furnace of a star.



With proper guidance there are few reasons why you shouldn’t return to doing the things you love in life.


Not every person has the same response with treatment. There are just too many factors to take into consideration…

Your personal history, your family history, how active or inactive you are, injuries, nutrition etc… Its usually not a good idea to compare your specific injury to someone else.


Do you live in the Miami area and want to find out more about your back pain and treatment options?

Are you fearful of surgery or taking medications for the rest of your life with terrible side effects?


Contact Dr. Abbate for a complimentary orthopedic and sports assessment. No cuts. No pills.




Dr. Cory Abbate

Doctor of Physical Therapy

BS Exercise Science

Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist

Emergency Medical Responder

13944 SW 8th St STE 202

Miami FL, 33184



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