Available courses

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

 1)    conduct an evidence-based, comprehensive assessment of patients presenting with neck and back pain using the CORE tools

2)    describe the roles, scopes and skill sets of other health professions that deliver spine care within the primary care team

3)    develop and implement an interprofessional management plan for patients presenting with acute and chronic spine pain

Primary Care Focus on Low Back Pain Online Course


To enrol for the course, you need first to create an account. Once your account active, click on the enrol button at the bottom of this page.

When enroling for this course, you agree to share your contact information (name and email address) with the Center for Effective Practice (CEP) and MSK Courses.

Course Description

Primary Care Focus on Low Back Pain Online Course is designed for primary care providers with the goal of improving patient outcomes, decreasing unnecessary resource utilization and increasing capacity for comprehensive primary care.  This course will introduce the updated 2016 CORE Back Tool, which has been designed by engaging primary care providers and specialists in the design process.

Primary Care Focus on Low Back Pain is composed of 4 modules:

  • Module 1: Guidelines and Evidence – This module provides learners with a better understanding of the evidence supporting the assessment and management of patients with low back pain through a number of interactive case scenarios.
  • Module 2: History and Physical Examination – This module will prepare the learner to conduct an efficient high yield evidence-based history for low back pain patients and to conduct the physical examination identifying the common patterns of low back pain.
  • Module 3: Provider and Patient Management – This module addresses the key skills required to improve the management of low back pain by incorporating Patient Self Management (PSM) and Pain Management into office-based discussions with patients.
  • Module 4: Clinical Toolkit – This module will review the 2016 update to the Clinically Organized Relevant Exam (CORE) Back Tool

These modules are designed as an integrated learning unit, but can also be completed as independent learning sessions.  Each module includes written content, learning activities, and audio and video descriptions and demonstrations.

You may work through these modules on your own time and at your own pace.  The estimated average completion time for all modules is 4 hours, and the full course must be completed within 1 month.

Developed by:

In collaboration with:

For content-related questions and/or if you experience technical difficulties please contact info@effectivepractice.org

Course Objectives

  1. To describe the evidence based guidelines for the acute, persistent and recurrent low back pain patient
  2. To conduct an efficient high yield evidence-based history and examination for mechanical low back pain patients
  3. To describe the steps for engaging your patient in a self management strategy for improved sustainability of outcomes
  4. To effectively apply the CORE Back Tool and other relevant clinical tools to case based scenarios in order to integrate course learning


The Primary Care Focus on Low Back Pain online course designed by Centre for Effective Practice (CEP) has been updated with funding from Inter-professional Spine Assessment and Education Clinics (ISAEC) at University Health Network, and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC).  As such, CEP is able to offer the program for 2016-2017 at no cost to participants.

Centre for Effective Practice would like to acknowledge its faculty members for this program, Dr. Julia Alleyne and  Dr. Hamilton Hall for their commitment to low back pain education.  The educational curriculum was updated by Dr. Alleyne and Dr. Hall, in consultation with the Program Planning Committee, listed below.

Program Planning Committee Members

  • Julia Alleyne, MD FCCP(SEM)  Presenter/Faculty
  • Hamilton Hall, MD FRCP Presenter/Faculty
  • John Axler, MD LMCC CCFP FCFP
  • Inge Schabort, MB ChB CCFO FCFP
  • Bruce Hobson, MD
  • Michelle Acorn, DNP NP PHC/Adult MN/ACNP BScN/PHCNP BA ENC(C) GNC
  • Jennifer Young, MD CCFP(EM)
  • David Dos Santos, BSc DC FCCRS(C) FCCO(C)
  • Jess Rogers, Director, CEP Project Team
  • Kelly Lang-Robertson, Information Research Manager, CEP Project Team
  • Claudia Warner-Romano, Project Coordinator, CEP Project Team

Please note that all committee members have completed conflict of interest forms, which are available upon request by email: info@effectivepractice.org.

Presenter Biographies and Conflict of Interest Disclosures

Dr. Julia Alleyne

Dr. Julia Alleyne is a Family Physician practicing Sport and Exercise Medicine at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network. In addition, she trained as a physiotherapist and maintained an active license for 30 years. She is appointed at the University of Toronto, Department of Family and Community Medicine as an associate clinical professor.
In 2009, she completed her Masters with a focus in Health Professions Education. Since that time, she has been active as an educational curriculum consultant including the clinical lead for Ontario’s Low Back Pain Strategy and program designer for the MSK Initiative in British Columbia. In 2013, she was appointed as the first Family Physician to be chair of Bone and Joint Canada.
In addition, her work in the area of Back Care includes being an educational consultant for curriculum and tool development for provincial MSK initiatives in Ontario and British Columbia. She has co-authored a series of Spine related articles for Current Concepts in Care and is the co-chair for the Spine Quality Based Pathway. Dr. Alleyne has worked with the Centre for Effective Practice for a decade in the area of Primary Care Musculoskeletal tool development and education.
Dr. Alleyne does not have any affiliation with a pharmaceutical, medical device, and/or communications organization.

Dr. Hamilton Hall

Dr. Hamilton Hall is a Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto and on the orthopaedic staff at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

In 1974 Dr. Hall founded the Canadian Back Institute (CBI Health Group), now the largest rehabilitation company in Canada. Dr. Hall continues to serve as its Medical Director. He is a co-founder of the Canadian Spine Society and is presently the Society’s Executive Director.
Dr. Hamilton Hall is a member of the North American Spine Society, the Canadian Orthopaedic Association and the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine. He has served on the editorial boards of Spine, The Spine Journal and The BackLetter. In addition to over 100 published articles and book chapters and 1000 invited presentations, Dr. Hamilton Hall is the author of the best-selling Back Doctor series, most recently A Consultation with the Back Doctor.
Dr. Hall has received compensation as a consultant from the following commercial organizations: Stryker Spine, Medtronic, RTI Surgical. None of these organizations or their products are referenced in the program, and any potential biases that may have arisen as a result of Dr. Hall’s role as consultant was mitigated through the engagement of planning committee members who reviewed the content of the program.

Three weekend Musculoskeletal certificate program -- fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. October 2017 through April 2018.

Three weekend Musculoskeletal certificate program -- fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. October 2016 through April 2017.

Three weekend Musculoskeletal certificate program -- fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. October 2016 through April 2017.

Three weekend Musculoskeletal certificate program -- fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. October 2016 through April 2017.