How do I get referred to this program?
Your family doctor or nurse practitioner can refer you to MSK CIAC for an initial assessment of your low back and/or low back related leg pain to determine the next steps in your care. The program is fully covered by OHIP.
Please download a copy of the Low Back Pain Patient Guide document opens in a PDF.
Who is eligible for this program?
The MSK CIAC Low Back Pain Program is for patients who are 18 years of age and over and:
- Live with unmanageable low back pain and/or related symptoms which have lasted for at least 6 weeks but not longer than 12 months OR:
- Live with unmanageable low back pain and/or related symptoms that occur some of the time, with less than 12 months between occurrences.
How will my referral be handled?
You will be assessed by an Advanced Practice Provider (APP) who is a regulated healthcare professional, such as a physiotherapist or chiropractor, with specialized training in low back care.
Your assessment will be scheduled with an APP with a practice location nearest to your home. After receiving your referral, the APP’s office will contact you to book your appointment. You can expect an appointment date within four weeks.
How long is the assessment?
Your assessment will be approximately one hour long. Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment time to complete the necessary paperwork.
What happens during an assessment?
- The APP will complete a full history and physical examination of your condition. You will be provided with an explanation as to the likely causes of your low back and/or low back related leg symptoms.
- You will be provided with a self-management plan to better manage your pain, improve your mobility and your overall function. Additional services (e.g., exercise rehabilitation, manual therapy) from a community healthcare provider may be recommended as they are not provided by this program.
- Surgery may be suggested for some patients. These patients will be provided with access to a spine specialist and diagnostic imaging (X-ray, MRI) as required.
- If you require further surgical assessment, you will be offered the next available appointment or have the option to choose an appointment with your preferred spine surgeon.
Will my doctor or nurse practitioner be informed about my assessment?
Your doctor or nurse practitioner will be sent a report about your assessment results. They will receive your self-management plan, next steps and any required follow-up appointments.
For some patients, the APP may contact your doctor or nurse practitioner directly to discuss your assessment.
How do I change or cancel my appointment?
If you need to cancel your appointment, please contact your APP’s office 24 hours prior to your scheduled appointment. Their contact information will be provided to you at the time of your booking.
Exercises and Tips
The Rapid Access Clinics for Low Back Pain website provides resources aimed at helping those with low back pain issues.
Tips from Dr. Mike Evans