Evaluation and Management of Neck and Back Pain

John W. Martel, MD, PhD, FACEP; Samuel B. Potter, MD


Semin Neurol. 2019;39(1):41-52. 

In This Article

Pearls and Pitfalls

Ultimately, the goal of effective ED evaluation is surveillance for acute life- and/or function-threatening conditions that require immediate treatment, imaging, admission, and/or possibly surgical intervention. Acknowledging vital sign abnormalities, eliciting concerning historical elements including key red flag signs and symptoms, and performing a complete physical/neurological examination are all crucial to distinguishing between cases that require immediate intervention from those that require little or no evaluation.