Community Resources for Management of Back Pain


1Naazish Shariff, BHSc. Candidate, 2Eugene K. Wai, MD, MSc, CIP, FRCSC,

1Faculty of Health Science, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON. 2Head—University of Ottawa Combined Adult Spinal Surgery Program, Associate Professor—Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Ottawa, Cross Appointment to School of Epidemiology and Public Health, Ottawa, ON.


Abstract:Back pain is a community level health problem because of the high prevalence and burden on patients, health care and society. Many aspects of back management, such as exercise and psychosocial stress management, are suitable for a community model of care. Community models for back pain are in their infancy but lessons learned from other chronic diseases can be applied and will be discussed. This review will discuss existing evidence-based community programs, such as Exercise is Medicine® and the Stanford Model, that support exercise and self-management, and their relevance to low back pain.
Key Words: back pain, community model of care, self-management, exercise, lifestyle risk factors.

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Many aspects of back management such as exercise and promotion of self-management are more suited for a community model of care.
Physicians and other health care providers are important catalysts for change and must support patient engagement.
Health care practitioners should identify resources within their community as well as develop their own local creative solutions.
Evidence-supported models for community involvement in managing chronic diseases are available. This article provides resources enabling practitioners to identify these programs in their community and tailor them for their back pain patients.
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