The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is launching a $2.3-million program to help primary care organizations deliver timely and appropriate low back pain services.
Seven Local Health Integration Networks will administer the funds over a two-year period.
The Primary Care Low Back Pain Pilot program supports the integration of allied health providers such as chiropractors, physiotherapists, kinesiologist, occupational therapists and registered massage therapists.
Sudbury's Shkagamik-Kwe Aboriginal Health Access Centre will participate in the pilot program.
The province says the initiative is one of two new models of care that will help ensure patients with low back pain receive the right care, at the right time, in the right place.
The second model, the Inter-professional Spine Assessment and Education Clinics Pilot, was launched in 2012 by the University Health Network in Toronto, Thunder Bay and Hamilton. It introduced rapid assessment and education centres for patients coping with non-acute low back pain.
According to Back Care Canada, about 90 per cent of back pain is benign – that is, not caused by a serious underlying injury or disease.
Since introducing Ontario’s Low Back Pain Strategy, by reducing the number of unnecessary diagnostic testing, the volume of spine imaging has decreased by 18.5 per cent, resulting in savings of approximately $15 million, while still maintaining access to quality care, close to home, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care said in a press release.