Back Health Care

Study this online course in back health care to understand how to recognise a range of skeletal, muscular and neurological back problems and determine appropriate interventions.

Course Code: BRE216
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Learn How to Help People With Back Problems 

Problems with back health and wellbeing are extremely common and cost governments, employers, and the people suffering with the injury enormous amounts of money. These problems are also widespread – at some point, close to 60% of us will experience some sort of back pain.

Back pain can result from mechanical issues or from poor posture and can occasionally be a symptom of something completely different. As we start to consider all aspects of back pain, it is important to remember that the person with the back pain probably already knows some of the causes of their pain, but they may not be aware of how specific activities could be contributing to continuing pain while other activities, exercises, treatment forms or medications could combine to alleviate the pain and treat the underlying causes.

Problems with a back may be due to a back injury but can also be due to a variety of other things including disease, nutritional issues, muscle weakness (possibly through lack of exercise), bad ergonomics (e.g. sleeping, standing or sitting incorrectly) or problems in another part of the body e.g. flat feet, neck problems, and problems in the arms. Most back pain (90%) arises out of mechanical problems which can be readily addressed without concern that there may be underlying issues of a more sinister nature. However, there are specific ‘red flags’ that suggest the person in pain needs to be referred to a specialist for further investigation. The presence of these red flags doesn’t mean that bad news is inevitable, it just requires caution and care until the specialist makes a decision.

  • This course teaches students how to recognise genuine back problems and consider appropriate responses.
  • The course has been developed to broaden and deepen an understanding of back care in a holistic way. 
  • Learn about posture, anatomy, the nervous system, assessment of back health, how to treat and prevent back injuries, and so much more. 


Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Patterns, Causes, and Effects of Back Problems
    • Red Flags for Back Pain
    • Pain only on One Side
    • Back Injuries
    • The Connections Between Back Pain and Depression
    • Work Related Back Pain
    • Posture and Ergonomics
  2. Back Anatomy and Physiology
    • The Skeleton
    • The Skeletal System of The Back
    • Spinal Curvatures
    • The Relationship Between the Muscles and The Skeleton
    • Stretching A Muscle
    • The Nervous System’s Supply to The Back
    • Experiencing Pain
    • Trigger Points
  3. Preventing Back Injuries
    • Lifestyle Issues and Habits
    • Correct Lifting Technique
    • Good Posture
    • Diet
    • Ergonomics
    • Preventative Treatments
    • Muscles and Flexibility
    • Managing Back Related Injuries
    • Taping Up an Injury
    • Managing Inflammation
  4. Types of Back Injury
    • Spinal Injuries
    • Musculoskeletal Injury
    • Neurological Injuries
    • Pinched & Trapped Nerves
  5. Assessment and Screening
    • Collecting Client Information
    • Functional/Physical Assessment
    • Psychosocial Assessment
    • Symptoms of a Spinal Injury (Bone)
    • Symptoms of a Muscular Back Injury
    • Symptoms of a Neurological Back Injury
    • Clinical Assessment Procedures
  6. Professional Treatments
    • Back Care Professionals
    • Complementary Therapies
    • Psychological Treatments for Chronic Pain Management
  7. Surgical and Pharmaceutical Treatments
    • Pharmaceutical interventions
    • Understanding Prescription Medication Addiction
    • Surgery
  8. Back Health Maintenance
    • Best Practice
    • Changing Habits
    • Legal Issues
    • Specific Practitioner Issues
    • Ethics
    • The Mind’s Impact on the Physical Body
    • A Holistic Approach
  9. Rehabilitation
    • Back Pain & Grief
    • Progressive Programme Design
    • Providing Psychosocial Support
    • Establishing and Monitoring Exercise Quotas and Intensity
    • Personal Rehabilitation
    • Professional Rehabilitation and Care

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Discuss back health and the scope and nature of what causes back problems including pain.
  • Describe the physical biology of the spine, vertebrae and both muscular & neurological tissues in the human back and related parts of the body.
  • Determine actions an individual should take to better manage back health.
  • Explain the most frequent types of back injury.
  • Identify information required to make assessment of a client’s back health. Determine a suitable way of assessing safe and appropriate activity levels for the individual relative to the condition of their back.
  • Explain the scope and nature of treatments carried out by back care professionals.
  • Evaluate optional medical responses to persistent back health issues including pharmaceuticals and surgery.
  • Plan a maintenance response appropriate to an individual, giving informed advice to a client within the legal and ethical limits of your knowledge and experience.
  • Explain the rehabilitation process after a back injury or any other back problem.

What You Will Do

  • Consider important questions to determine the nature of back pain.
  • Explain the difference is between posture and ergonomics.
  • Determine significant causes of back pain.
  • Draw a simple sketch of vertebrae and discs.
  • Discuss trigger points.
  • Explain differences in spinal curvature in relation to movement.
  • Determine whether a person has a nerve injury or muscle injury of the back.
  • Describe how to tape different types of upper back injuries.
  • Discuss different types of stretching and their role in back health.
  • Explain the difference between a bulging disc and a herniated disc.
  • Describe the difference between subluxation and dislocation.
  • Explain similarities and differences between sprains and strains.
  • Determine exercises to recommend for pinched spinal nerves and sciatica.
  • Devise a weekly exercise program for an individual with a back problem.
  • Explain what is meant by Physiology Slump Test.
  • Explain differences between neurological and muscular symptoms of back injury.
  • Assess psychosocial aspects of back pain/injury.
  • Suggest the best course of treatment for different back conditions.
  • Compare alternative treatments to traditional treatments for back injuries.
  • Discuss similarities and differences between over the counter and prescription medications for back pain.
  • Explain what is meant by drug dependence.
  • Discuss different types of spinal surgery and expected outcomes.
  • Provide instructions for post-operative clients to help them get into and out of bed comfortably.
  • Describe effective and manageable sleep routines.
  • Delineate the importance ethical practice when helping clients with back pain.
  • Explain psychosocial aspects of pain management.
  • Establish and monitor exercise quotas and intensity with a client.

Who is this Course For?

This course is of relevance to anyone who has an interest in back care. This includes not only people working in mainstream and complementary health care, but also those concerned with fitness and wellbeing in or outside of the workplace. It is also relevant to workplace health and safety, to sporting and fitness professionals, counselling,  coaching professionals, and more.

The course may be used for professional development purposes or as a foundation to further study. It may asl obe of value to individuals with back pain or back health issues who wish to broaden their knowledge and understanding of this subject.    
ACS is a Member of the Complementary Medicine Association.

Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.

Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

Warnborough College in Ireland and England are affiliated with ACS Distance Education

UK Register of Learning Providers, UK PRN10000112

How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

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What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $60 incl. GST for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exam and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Statement of Attainment. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email

Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.

How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.

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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

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