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Low back pain is a common condition, with the recent Global Burden of Disease study revealing it to be one of the leading causes of disability internationally. It is known to prevent many Australians from continuing a productive and happy life.

This model of care was developed with an overarching aim of supporting people with acute low back pain to self-manage their condition, reduce the risk of spiralling into a chronic pain state and maintain their participation in work, family and social life to the full.

There is much evidence that supports a conservative care approach for most episodes of acute low back pain and many guidelines to support these approaches. This model of care provides a uniform approach to delivering supported care for people living in NSW who seek healthcare for their acute low back pain from their general practitioners and their staff, community-based allied health services, emergency departments of hospitals and the NSW Ambulance staff. The intention is that these health service providers will work with the ACI to learn valuable lessons on ways the model of care can be applied to the variety of clinical settings across NSW.

The work to date on this model of care has been a collaboration between the ACI Musculoskeletal Network, the ACI Pain Management Network and neurosurgical clinicians. The model of care is congruent with chronic pain management services in NSW as well as the ACI Emergency Care Institute pathway of care for this patient group.

On behalf of the ACI we congratulate and thank all involved for giving of their expertise, both in helping to interpret the evidence base as well as practical advice regarding the application of the evidence in local NSW healthcare settings.

The contribution of individuals who have drawn on their personal experience of acute low back pain to help develop this model of care is especially appreciated and acknowledged. Their input has helped ensure that the interventions will be acceptable to future receivers of this healthcare.

Chris Shipway
Director, Primary Care and Chronic Services

Matthew Jennings
ACI Musculoskeletal Network Co-Chair

Dr Gabor Major
ACI Musculoskeletal Network Co-Chair