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Low Back Pain (LBP) 

The Low Back Pain (LBP) rapid access clinic improves health care delivery for patients with persistent or unmanageable recurrent low back pain-related symptoms.  The RAC Low Back Pain program is an innovative, upstream, shared-care model of care in which patients receive rapid low back pain assessment (less than four weeks on average), education and evidence-based self-management plans.   It is designed to decrease the prevalence of unmanageable chronic low back pain, reduce unnecessary diagnostic imaging as well as unnecessary specialist referral.  
Referral into the program is only available to patients whose family physician or nurse practitioner has registered to become verified referrers in the program.  Primary Care Providers (PCP) can register with the program using an online training link at  Once training is complete, PCPs become verified referrers and are able to refer their patients to the program.  Low back pain patients who meet the LB RAC referral criteria are seen by an Advanced Practice Provider (APP) within 2-4 weeks of referral.   
All referrals are triaged based on the severity/acuity of your condition.  The team will contact you to setup a consultation with an Advanced Practice Provider (APP).    An APP, a specially trained physiotherapist or chiropractor, who has undergone additional training with our Spine Surgeons.  They have advanced skills and training to provide you with a program that includes a detailed standard assessment and education about your condition.   
There is no fee associated with RAC-LBP - it is covered by OHIP. 

Together with your surgeon, you have decided that spine surgery is necessary to alleviate the symptoms you are now experiencing. This booklet is designed to provide you and your family with the information that you will need in order to have a successful surgical experience. It is very important that you read and understand the information provided in this booklet. You do not need to memorize it. Active involvement in your care is essential for a healthy recovery.

Patient Guide


Who should be referred? 

  • Persistent low back pain and/or related symptoms (e.g., sciatica, neurogenic claudication) that are not improving 6 weeks to 12 months from onset. 
  • Unmanageable recurrent/episodic low back pain and/or related symptoms of less than 12 months duration post-recurrence. 
  • Patients must be 18 years or older   


Who does not qualify? 

  • Pain that is a result of an accident (Motor vehicle /workplace covered under WSIB) 
  • Conditions that require urgent or emergency care – patients should seek emergency care if required 
  • Long-standing low back conditions (greater than 12 months in a row with no relief), as the program is not designed for chronic conditions 
  • Patients under the age of 18 
  • Pregnant or within 12 months after childbirth (<1 year)


What imaging should be completed prior to submitting the referral?  

  • None needed – the goal of the program is to decrease the utilization of imaging 


Who will I see? 

You will be initially assessed by an Advanced Practice Provider (APP) and depending on your assessment you may then have an assessment by our Practice Lead.  Both the APP and the Practice lead will work with both surgeons and your PCP to ensure you get the most appropriate care.   Patients who require a surgical consultation can choose the “first available” surgeon and will experience shorter wait times or can choose a surgeon or hospital of their choice.


What will my appointment with the APP consist of? 

  • To optimize your time with the APP, we recommend that you download and complete the patient intake form prior to your first appointment 
  •  Review your medical history, surgical history, medication, and functional limitations 
  •  Comprehensive physical examination 
  •  Personalized treatment plan 


Will the APP provide treatment? 

  • No, the APP will provide education, a personalized self-management plan (ie exercise instruction) and can connect patients to services in the community  

How long will I wait for an assessment?  

  • Ministry of Health has mandated that patients be assessed by an APP within 4 weeks of receiving the referral  

How long is my appointment? 

  • Initial appointments are approximately 60 minutes and Follow-up appointments are approximately 30 minutes   

What should I bring? 

  • Health Card 
  • List of medication, including over-the-counter medication , and an allergy list  


  • If you are unable to keep your appointment or need to change it for any reason; please notify the clinic within 2 business days of your scheduled appointment.   
Contact Us

Health Sciences North
Ramsey Lake Health Centre
41 Ramsey Lake Road
Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 5J1

Phone: 705-523-7100