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Low Back Pain Pathway

Your journey with low back pain

This guide will help you to know what to expect as you work with your healthcare team to manage and treat low back pain. If you have any questions about this information, talk with your healthcare team.

You will have your own unique journey with low back pain. How you move through your journey, the number of visits with your healthcare team, the steps you will take, and the order you take them in will depend on your needs. You will make decisions in partnership with your healthcare team. Always follow your healthcare team’s advice.

What is low back pain?

Low back pain is common. It can have many causes, such as an injury to a muscle, ligament, or nerve. It’s rare that a more serious health condition is the cause of low back pain.

You might feel low back pain directly in your back, in your leg, or both. The pain may be acute (new pain) or chronic (long-term pain).

Low back pain usually gets better without surgery.

Whole-person health

The whole-person health approach will help you and your healthcare team better manage your health condition.

A person is at the centre of a circle with 4 equal, blended parts showing physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial and social parts of health.

Whole-person health draws from the teachings of the medicine wheel. It means thinking about all parts of your health and wellness:

  • physical
  • financial and social
  • emotional
  • spiritual

These parts are all connected and impact each other. It’s important to be aware of your personal needs in each part and to share that information with your healthcare team. Your healthcare team needs to understand who you are and what matters to you.

Support and resources

  • If you need a family doctor, visit Alberta Health Services: Find a doctor.
  • If you need a translator, let your healthcare provider know.
  • If you need health advice any time, day or night, call Health Link at 811.
  • If you need to find programs and services in your community, call or text 211 or visit 211 Alberta.

Low back pain pathway map

Low Back Pain Pathway

Download or print the full patient pathway (PDF) and summary (one-page PDF) to learn more about how to manage and treat low back pain.
Patient Pathway      Summary  ​​​​​​​​

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