Who qualifies for the Back and Neck Rehabilitation Programme?

The Scheme’s Back and Neck Programme has already seen positive results by improving the quality of life of many members or their dependants who suffer from back or neck pain, and will hopefully help these members avoid unnecessary invasive surgery.

You may qualify for the Back and Neck Rehabilitation Programme if you suffer from chronic or acute spinal pain.

In the case of chronic spinal pain, you will qualify if…

  • You have constant or intermittent spine pain that has been present for longer than 12 weeks (3 months).
  • You have had two acute back/neck pain episodes in the preceding three months or three significant back pain episodes in your lifetime (with ‘significant’ being defined as an episode where a family practitioner, physiotherapist, biokineticist or chiropractor was consulted).
  • You have a pain assessment scale (visual analogue scale) averaging 40/100 or more.
  • You have conditions such as degenerative disc disease, disc herniation, facet-joint osteo-arthrosis and spinal stenosis.
  • You have had previous spine surgery or interventative pain procedures.
  • You make excessive use of or are dependent on pain medication or caffeine products.

In the case of acute spinal pain, you will qualify if you are at risk of developing chronic back pain.

  • Your risk of developing chronic back pain is assessed using internationally validated screening tool.
  • The screening questions will focus on the nature of your pain, how it affects your daily activities e.g. dressing and walking and how you perceive your pain.
  • Based on responses you will receive care plan that covers treatment by a physiotherapist that is specifically designed to prevent you developing chronic back pain.

If you have any of the ‘red flag’ conditions listed below, the Back and Neck Programme will not be suitable for you:

  • Imminent neurological (nervous system) disaster
  • Spine fractures
  • Severe osteoporosis
  • Current infection of spinal structures
  • Untreated/suspended cancer
  • Leg pain when walking less than 250 meters
  • Intractable pain

Members enrolled on the programme will be identified for either a specific physiotherapy programme or an intensive six-week multidisciplinary programme where a medical doctor, biokineticist and physiotherapist are involved in the assessment.

Read more about this programme.