While low back pain can be very painful initially, most people make a very good and speedy recovery within a few weeks with improvement continuing over a few months.
Most people can return to their work, sport and hobbies relatively quickly. They may have recurrent episodes which also settle quickly, but they do not experience any major changes in their quality of life. A simple clinical examination by a physiotherapist along with some advice is often enough to set them on the road to self-managed recovery.
However, some people do develop long-standing, disabling problems. It is most important that these people, who may be at risk of developing ongoing problems, are identified early.
Current research shows that there are a number of factors associated with an increased risk of ongoing back pain, such as the level of pain, distress, anxiety, and fears that movement will make the condition worse. These factors can be identified at an early stage through the use of a simple questionnaire given to you by your physiotherapist and research has shown that your prognosis is greatly improved when these factors are targeted as part of the management of your low back pain.