Physicians play an important role in the diagnosis, treatment and management of low-back pain. The Institute for Work & Health is a member of POCKET (Physicians of Ontario Collaborating for Knowledge Exchange and Transfer), which developed this tool kit on managing low-back pain. The tool kit includes items on both short-term and long-term low-back pain.
Authors: Physicians of Ontario Collaborating for Knowledge Exchange and Transfer
Published: 2005, revised 2009
All items are free to download.
Evidence Summary for Management of Non-specific Chronic Low Back Pain (revised April 2009)
This evidence summary was created to provide family physicians with a quick overview of the evidence (available as of February 2009) for managing non-specific long-term (chronic) low-back pain. It was designed to help physicians use evidence in their decision-making, along with their clinical experience and knowledge of their patients.
Three-Minute Primary Care Low Back Examination Video (revised 2006)
This video for primary care physicians reviews the screening examination of a patient presenting with low back pain.The video was produced by IWH and the University of Toronto, Division of Rheumatology, and is hosted by the Institute of Health Economics in Alberta. The video focuses on three key elements:
Observing the patient from the time he or she enters the physician's office
Ensuring the patient is appropriately disrobed
Maintaining good verbal communications with the patient throughout the examination
So Your Back Hurts...Learn what works, what doesn't and how to help yourself (revised 2010)
This free doctor-patient booklet contains evidence-based information on how patients can live with short-term (acute) low-back pain. It can be used to describe acute low-back pain to a patient and provides recommendations for patient care.
So Your Back Hurts... (PDF, 5 MB)
Prescription Pad for Low-back Pain (2005)
This pad has tear-off sheets for patients with instructions on back care.
Prescription Pad Sheet (PDF, 136 KB)
Red and Yellow Flag Indicator Cards (2005)
This physician's reference card helps rule out more serious disease. The cards in the downloadable files listed below are identical, but one file is set up to make it easier to print off four at a time on a standard colour office printer.
Red & Yellow Flag Cards - Single (PDF, 40 KB)
Red & Yellow Flag Cards - Sheet of Four (PDF, 80 KB)