Acute low back pain affects roughly a quarter of the adult U.S. population at any given time. Most cases are self-limited and medical attention is not sought. Up to a third of cases annually persist for longer than 1-3 months and are considered to have transitioned into chronic low back pain (CLBP). Chronic low back pain is associated not only with pain, but also with decreased functionality, work loss, and disability. Pain and disability are influenced not only by injury and structural abnormalities; but also by patients’ attitudes and beliefs, psychosocial factors, and behavioral patterns. Treatment is often composed of multidisciplinary efforts to remove the underlying organic problem (if identified) and by efforts to reduce disability by focusing on environmental factors, central pain processing mechanisms, de-conditioning, fear of re-injury, and other affective, cognitive-evaluative, social, and behavioral factors.
Note: Many treatment options are available for chronic low back pain, both pharmacological and non-pharmacological. We only cover the psychological interventions on this website. Of course, we recommend a consultation with your primary health care provider for an accurate diagnosis and discussion of various treatment options. Feel free to print this information and take it with you to discuss your treatment plan with your health care provider.