Here is a nice summary of non-specific low back pain. That is tension, soreness or stiffness in the lower back region in where it is not possible to identify a specific cause of pain. This accounts for around 90% or back pain, 5% – 10% been made up with radicular features and 1%-2% making up the neoplasms, infection, fractures or inflammatory cases. Except for these ‘red flag’ conditions, MRI is only indicated to evaluate patients with persistent radicular pain, after 1 month of conservative treatment. Radicular pain consists of compression of nerve roots leaving the spinal cord or cauda equina syndrome. Also radicular pain can be linked to an underlying pathology such as disc prolapse, canal stenosis or spondylolisthesis.