WSIB – Low back program of care

Acute Back Pain Program For Work-Related Accidents:
Program of care for lower back injuries starting within 6 weeks from the date of injury

What is it?

The Low Back Program of Care (LB POC) is a healthcare initiative designed to effectively treat individuals with work-related lower back injuries. This program is an evidence-based health care plan designed to optimize the recovery process for acute workplace injuries. This program was initially launched in 2002 and is now being offered at our clinic!
The program delivers an individualized approach to people suffering low back workplace injuries. The focus of the program is to achieve functional rehabilitation and facilitate an earlier return to work.

What is the Focus of the program?

Individuals who qualify for this program and meet all criteria will be treated by a registered kinesiology from our clinic. Each individual will partake in a program that is up to 8 weeks in duration. This timeframe includes an initial assessment as well as a treatment plan that is divided into 2 phases of care. The program is focused on evidence-based treatment interventions tailored to each individual; it includes the following:

  • Patient education
  • Strategies for self-management
  • Treatment (mobilization, manual manipulation, and exercises)
  • Progressive pain management
  • Transition to return to work

Please note, the Workers Safety Insurance Board (WSIB) will only cover the cost of treatments that are provided to workers who begin treatment within 6 weeks of the occurrence of the workplace injury.

Who is it for?

This program is specifically for individuals with an open WSIB claim (or individuals planning to open a claim) due to a workplace injury. Individuals who fit this requirement must begin the program within 6 week of the date of injury. Individuals with acute lower back pain would benefit from this service.
The WSIB Clinical Expert Line will be contacted to determine if an individual can participate in the program if a health care provider has determined any of the following:

  • Worker is not suitable for the POC
  • Individual waited longer than 6 weeks to start treatment
  • Individual is not progressing
  • They require more care


Eligibility and participant requirements

Individuals must meet the following criteria in order to participate:

  • Lower back injury is acute (it occurred no more than 6 weeks ago)
  • Individual does not have another injury/condition that would prevent them from participating in this program
  • Worker must have been assessed within 42 days of the date of injury and/or recurrence
  • Worker must not have clinical evidence of significant red or yellow flags (musculoskeletal, neurological, or psychological issues that would interfere with an individual’s ability to safely and/or effectively participate in this program)
  • Worker is still working (either regular or modified duties) or is off work completely
  • Individual is not hospitalized or in critical condition.


What to expect

The program consists of 3 parts: An initial assessment followed by an 8 week treatment plan consisting of two 4-week phases. Each treatment is adapted so that it suits the individual and their type of injury.
Initial Assessment: The purpose of this assessment is to determine the individual’s health history, discuss the nature and circumstances of the injury, and perform a physical examination. This assessment also provides an opportunity to discuss the upcoming treatment program and address any questions or concerns. The program will be specifically tailored to each individual, using information gleaned in the initial assessment, in order to facilitate a safe and expedient recovery.
Phase 1: This part of the program will last for 4 weeks and will be focused primarily on patient education (regarding the nature of the injury, expected course of recovery, activity management, etc), pain management strategies and tools, and treatment of the injury.
Phase 2: This phase will last for the remaining 4 weeks of the program and will focus more intensively on physical rehabilitation, including exercise and manual manipulation. The goal of this phase is to progress individuals quickly and safely back to work (return to work with modified duties for those who are not yet working, or progressing from modified duties to resumption of regular duties who are currently working).
Please see the website for more information.


Is this service covered under WSIB?

Yes, if an individual meets all of the criteria outlined in the Eligibility and participant requirements section above, the treatment program will be fully covered by WSIB.

Do I need a referral?

Yes, you need a referral from a family physician.

How long until I see results?

The recovery process varies from person to person based on numerous factors, including the individual’s pre-injury health condition, the type of injury, and the person’s level of participation in the program. Results can be seen anywhere from 1-8 weeks from the commencement of treatment.
For more information visit:

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