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Chronic Low Back Pain

The problem

  • Pain persisting for >3 months
  • Causing physical disability and psychological stress
  • Increasingly common with older age

Interesting facts

  • CLBP does not always have a clearly defined underlying pathological cause
  • There may be underlying causes contributing to your back pain inclusive of poor posture and poor back ‘habits’ that leads to ongoing stress to one area of your spine
  • Multidisciplinary therapy (utilising both physical and psychological interventions) has been shown to assist some people to improve their functional capacity.
  • Drug therapy will not ‘cure’ your CLBP

What you can expect/look out for

  • Unfortunately outcomes are still universally poor for individual interventions for CLBP
  • Be prepared for continued discomfort for a while to come 

Hints for self management

  • Try to stay positive.  If you feel stressed discuss this with your GP.  They may be able to help.
  • Do not hang all your hopes on a singular treatment strategy.  Evidence does not hold well that one therapy in isolation will reduce your pain.
  • Stay active with regular exercise (x3/wk) that does not aggravate your pain
  • Try to return to work, even if only on limited duties

Management options

  • Keep discussing your issues, both physical and psychological, with your GP
  • Pain Management Clinics, discuss this with your Dr
  • Being more aware of your posture and the muscles that support your spine, aswell as the stresses you place your spine under during the day can help your symptoms


  • Bogduk N, Management of chronic low back pain  MJA 2004; 180 (2): 79-83
  • Chrubasik S,Treatment of low back pain exacerbations with willow bark extract: a randomized double-blind study. Am J Med. 2000 Jul;109(1):9-14.


At Sydney Sports and Orthopaedic Physiotherapy our highly qualified physiotherapists specialise in the assessment, treatment and prevention of neuromusculoskeletal injuries.



Contact us today – 9252 5770


This handout was prepared by Sydney Sports and Orthopaedic Physiotherapy and is intended as a general information service. Please note that the information provided is not intended as a substitute for advice from a registered physician or healthcare professional. If symptoms persist, please consult your doctor.

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