When it comes to back pain, yellow and red flags are used in two ways. The health care specialist looks for warning signs of physical involvement. There may be a risk of infection, tumors, or fractures. Accurate diagnosis is needed before treatment can be determined.
Or sometimes the warning flags relate to the psychosocial side of things. Emotional or mental stress may be the cause of the back pain. There may be indicators that if these warnings are not paid attention to, the patient will end up with chronic back pain.
Identifying patients who can benefit from behavioral or psychologic help early on is important. This may prevent them from developing long-term unfavorable results.