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Low Back Pain Rapid Access Clinic

What is a Rapid Access Clinic?

A Rapid Access Clinic (RAC) for Low Back Pain offers assessment of your low back pain and/or low-back-related leg pain to determine the next steps in your care.

A clinic team will assess your low back condition in a timely way and work with you to create a personalized care plan to help you better manage your low back symptoms.

RACs have been established across the province to help improve access to quality low back care.

At Sunnybrook, we offer a RAC for Low Back Pain. 

Learn more about Rapid Access Clinics (RAC) for Low Back Pain

Accessing a rapid access clinic

You can be referred to a rapid access clinic (RAC) by a family doctor or nurse practitioner that has RAC Low Back Pain referral privileges.

View more information for physicians and nurse practitioners interested in enrolling in RAC Low Back Pain »

You will need a referral from your primary care provider (family doctor or nurse practitioner).

Please have your care provider include:

  • Details of your symptoms
  • Any treatment(s) you have had
  • Any recent applicable reports of MRI/CT scan or x-ray investigations.

RAC services are fully covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).

Appointment information

What you can expect

Once you are referred to a RAC, you will be contacted by an Advanced Practice Provider's clinic to schedule your appointment.

An Advanced Practice Provider (APP) is a physiotherapist or a chiropractor with advanced education and experience who has completed specialized training.

You can expect an appointment date within four weeks.

Your assessment appointment will be scheduled with the nearest available clinician.

It is recommended that you arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment to complete the necessary paperwork.

Upon completion, you will then receive a thorough assessment by an APP for approximately one hour.

What to bring

  • Your OHIP card
  • A list of medications you are taking
  • A CD of any recent applicable images of MRI/CT Scan/x-rays
  • Your completed patient intake form.

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have new policies in place:

On arrival at the hospital:

  • You will need to attend your appointment on your own. There are NO companions or visitors allowed.
  • You will be screened for illness symptoms at the entryway. If you have symptoms, you will not be able to attend the visit and will be given further instructions.
  • You will be asked to sanitize your hands.
  • You will need to wear a mask. You may wear your own mask, or a mask will be provided.
  • Wear your own mask at all times; do not adjust or remove the mask once it is in place.
  • You must show a valid health card at check-in.
  • You will be required to practice physical distancing.
  • It’s always a good idea to minimize the surfaces that you touch.

After your visit:

  • Sanitize your hands.
  • If someone is picking you up, use your mobile phone to communicate with them when you are ready to leave. If you don’t have a mobile phone, we will provide you with access to a phone.

When a virtual visit is scheduled for you:

  • It is important that you view this video before your virtual appointment. The video demonstrates the movements you will be asked to perform during the assessment. You have to be familiar with these movements in advance and ensure enough space to perform them safely.
  • If possible, please have a yoga mat, stable chair and a sheet handy.
  • If you have any recent applicable MRI/CT Scan/x-ray reports, please ask your referring physician or nurse practitioner to fax them to (1-877-411-4577).
  • A link will be provided to you in advance so that on the day of your appointment, you may click on the link to open your virtual appointment on Zoom.

Tips for your low back pain

1. Quit smoking

Smoking can slow down and interfere with the healing of bones, skin and other body tissues. As a result, recovery from a back injury can be slower or less complete.

2. Positions and activities to help manage your pain

Pain with sitting: If your back hurts with sitting make sure to stand up or walk around at least once every 20 minutes. Choose a seat with good lower back support, arm rests and a swivel base. Consider placing a rolled towel in the small of your back to maintain its normal curve. Keep your knees and hips level (90 degrees).

Pain with standing or walking: If your back hurts with standing or walking make sure you sit down, round your back or perform pelvic tilts as needed to help alleviate your symptoms. Additionally, avoid wearing high heels. ​

3. Exercise regularly – get active!

If your back hurts with sitting, bending and twisting: Regular low-impact aerobic activities such as walking (flat surface), aquafit and tai chi can increase your overall cardiovascular fitness while strengthening and increasing endurance in your back. This allows your muscles to function better.

If your back hurts with standing and walking: Regular low-impact aerobic activities such as cycling, swimming and tai chi can increase your overall cardiovascular fitness while strengthening and increasing endurance in your back. This allows your muscles to function better.

Regardless of what positions make your back hurt, core-strengthening exercises (abdominal and back exercises) such as planks, side planks, and bird dog exercises can help specifically condition your core muscles so that they work synergistically to support your back.

4. If your back is hurting, avoid lifting heavy objects or awkward objects.

But if you must… let your legs do the work. Hold the weight close to your body and avoid lifting and twisting simultaneously. Ask for help if the object is heavy or awkward.

This information is NOT meant to replace the specific care provided by your doctor or another health professional. If you have any questions about the above recommendations, please speak to your health care provider.


Location and contact

Low Back Pain Rapid Access Clinic

Sunnybrook Bayview Campus
2075 Bayview Ave.

M-wing, take elevator to the ground floor, Room MG 301(to your left)


Fax (for referrals):