Low back pain

Clinician resources

This model of care aims to support people with acute low back pain to:

  • self-manage their condition
  • reduce the risk of spiralling into a chronic pain state
  • maintain their participation in work, family and social life to the full.

The model highlights three important areas for improvement:

  • more appropriate clinical examination and use of radiological imaging only as necessary
  • better use of appropriate analgesia
  • enhanced patient education.

Model of care

Published: May 2016.

A primary-care based model to support people with acute low back pain.

Download the model of care (PDF 1.3 MB)

Summary model of care

Published: December 2022.

Revisions to the model in collaboration with the State Insurance Regulatory Authority.

Download summary (PDF 542.3 KB)


Use of this model in the emergency department was evaluated in a stepped-wedge, cluster-randomised trial.

Consumer information

Best practice care for people with acute low back pain

Published: August 2019

Understanding what the model of care aims to address and why.

StreamDirect product no: 2HACI09

Download the best practice guide (PDF 1.3 MB)

Managing low back pain

Revised: December 2022.

Simple, practical information for an individualised back pain recovery plan. Revised in collaboration with State Insurance Regulatory Authority.

Download the fact sheet fact sheet (PDF 1.3 MB)

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ACI continues to support research into low back pain and provide evidence to support clinical practice.

Related resources

Emergency department clinical tools: Acute low back pain for the assessment and management of people with acute low back pain presenting to the emergency department.

Consumer information on chronic pain is available on the Chronic pain website

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