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With any new episode of low back pain, first rule out serious pathology - see 'Cauda Equina Syndrome' page for signs and symptoms of serious pathology.


Avoid Unnecessary Imaging

Most back pain is non specific which means it is often difficult to identify a specific tissue responsible for the cause of pain. Scans will always come back with findings regardless of whether they are responsible for your symptoms or not, they often correlate poorly with pain and are very unlikely to change your treatment plan, at least in the short term. Evidence suggests that early imaging is linked to more days of disability, more days off work and higher medical costs. See our 'MRI Education' page for more information on this.


Try Not To Worry

This is definitely easier said than done, but we know that psychology has a huge impact on all injuries. We know that catastrophising about the pain, worry, fear, stress, anxiety and fear of movement are all associated with with increased prognosis and delayed tissue healing. Take some reassurance from the fact that the majority of acute episodes of low back pain do resolve with natural history within 6 weeks.

Stressed Man

Treatments NOT Recommended For Acute Low Back Pain

  • Belts or supports

  • Foot orthotics and shoes with rocker soles

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