Concurrent Sessions

E5-a – Managing and Mitigating Low Back Pain and Opioid Use in Interprofessional Teams: The Primary Care Low Back Pain Pilots

Theme 5. Why hasn’t this expanded: scalable pilot programs

  • Date: Thursday October 25, 2018
  • Concurrent Session E
  • Time: 11:00-11:45am
  • Room: Harbour C
  • Style: Panel Discussion (in addition to providing information, panelists interact with one another to explore/debate a topic)
  • Focus: Practical (e.g. Presentation on how to implement programs and/or practices in the team environment)
  • Target Audience: Leadership (ED, clinical lead, board chair, board member, etc.), Clinical providers, Administrative staff, Representatives of stakeholder/partner organizations

Learning Objectives

  • As a result of this session, participants will:
  • Learn strategies for successfully and comprehensively co-managing patients with low back pain, opioid use, and other co-morbidities across two interprofessional team models to maximize sub-region resources,
  • Learn about the impact of coordinated care from the patients perspective,
  • Learn about successful care pathways used in this pilot, and
  • Learn the value of having MSK experts incorporated into interprofessional teams and scaling and spreading this pilot


Low back pain is a leading cause of disability worldwide and is reported in over half of opioid users. Currently, there lacks funded interprofessional primary care that includes musculoskeletal (MSK) experts to manage patients’ low back pain. Helping to address this, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care launched seven Primary Care Low Back Pain Pilot sites that include MSK experts, such as chiropractors, physiotherapists, and occupational therapists working in interprofessional primary care teams to manage patients’ low back pain.

The pilots have been highly successful in reducing patients’ low back pain, pain medication use, and disability and improving patients’ quality of life. Many of the patients’ in this pilot are of low socioeconomic status without extended health benefits who prior to the pilot, were unable to access any funded, primary care treatment for their low back pain.  This session, presented by chiropractors, a physiotherapist and executive director  occupational therapist from two different interprofessional pilot site models will highlight the experiences of providers and patients, the evaluation findings and how the care pathways used in this pilot can be scaled and spread to other health teams.


  • Bruce Flynn, DC, Lead Chiropractor, Belleville NPLC
  • Murray Townsend, DC, Chiropractor, Mount Forest Chiropractic
  • Suzanne Trivers, Executive Director, Mount Forest FHT
  • Ronda Schnurr-Smith PT, MScPT, Physiotherapist, Impact Physiotherapy