Spine Online

The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) and the Centre for Effective Practice (CEP) is pleased to support the Spine Online course for primary healthcare practitioners. This course is aimed at familiarizing health care practitioners with the current guidelines for evidence-based assessment and treatment of patients with low back and/or neck pain. We have incorporated the CORE Low Back and the CORE Neck Tools into the course teaching so that you can easily translate this knowledge into practice and use the tools to maintain and re-frame your practice care pathways.

Musculoskeletal (MSK) care consumes approximately 40 percent of primary care visits and back and neck pain make up the greatest subset of conditions. Yet, most practitioners have not been well prepared to assess or treat musculoskeletal conditions through their pre-license training. This gap in practice knowledge has created a need for education, tools and resources aimed at improving patient outcomes and decreasing chronicity and long-term disability. The MOHLTC began work on Low Back pain in 2012 which lead to the development of the CORE Back Tool, patient and provider education resources and the Interprofessional Spine Assessment and Education Centres (ISAEC) pilot project. Through the success of these initiatives, the Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN’s) will be launching province-wide MSK Rapid Assessment Clinics (MSK-RAC’s) which will focus on Low Back Pain as an evolution of the ISAEC pilot projects as well as Osteoarthritis.

The goal of Spine Online is to enhance the capacity of primary care providers to manage patients with acute and chronic low back and/or neck pain. We hope that by the end of the course you will be able to identify mechanical pain through a high yield history and focused physical examination. The course will help professionals list the appropriate investigations and referrals for patients and most importantly, describe evidence-based treatment that can be initiated in the office through open discussion and active goal setting.

What can you expect from Spine Online?

  • Interesting and relevant content
  • Interactive cases and knowledge testing
  • Monitored Discussion Boards by Subject Expert
  • Practice -friendly resources and tools
  • Videos to demonstrated clinical skills
  • Practice Implementation Advice and discussion

Welcome to Spine Online, we hope you enjoy the modules!


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Module Overview

For each module, low back and neck, participants will be asked to complete a pre-course survey that will be repeated at the end of the course. This is very important to meet our certification criteria and to better understand the needs and skills of our learners.

Each module will contain the following sections;

  • Guidelines & Provincial Updates
  • Assessment: History and Physical Examination
  • Evidence Based Management
  • Practice Tools and Resources

Each module will take approximately 2 hours to complete and you can start and stop it as needed to plan your time and activity.

In the modules, you will have an opportunity to post discussion questions and comments and the interactive board will be monitored by a subject matter expert who can help you apply your learning to practice. This is meant to be a forum for questions to deepen learning opportunities and not a clinical case review or consultation.

The modules are broken into 4 components that will take an average of 30 minutes to complete each section. You may start and stop the course as required by your daily commitments.

How to Navigate the Course

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