REBEL Core Cast – Basics of EM – Back Pain

Take Home Points

  • Ask about the red flags: cancer, fever, IVDA, FND, point tenderness, saddle/perianal anesthesia, trauma, urinary retention, bowel incontinence, weight loss
  • Most don’t need XR’s – set this expectation and advise against bed rest
  • Consider XR’s: h/o cancer, extremes of age, osteoporosis, new back pain in the elderly, trauma
  • Perform POCUS and check the aorta
  • Only 33% of patients with epidural abscess have fever – consider in all IVDA patients

REBEL Core Cast – Basics of EM – Back Pain

Click here for Direct Download of the Podcast


Marco E. Propersi, DO, FAAEM
Vice Chair/Associate Medical Director
Clinical Assistant Professor
Department of Emergency Medicine
Nuvance Health at Vassar Brothers Medical Center
Associate Editor, REBEL EM
Board of Directors, NJ-ACEP
Twitter: @marco_propersi

Post Peer Reviewed By: Anand Swaminathan, MD (Twitter: @EMSwami)

Cite this article as: Ellsworth Wright, "REBEL Core Cast – Basics of EM – Back Pain", REBEL EM blog, June 1, 2022. Available at:
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Ellsworth Wright

Emergency Physician at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center

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