Non Specific Lower Back Pain

The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional. 


Non specific lower back pain is a chronic condition characterised by a dull, diffuse tightness or aching in the lower back.


Due to the complexity of the anatomical structure of the back, lower back pain may be caused by muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, discs, bone or nerves. It is this ambiguity that leads to its classification as ’non specific’.

Damage to these structures may be caused by either overuse (small forces applied to the back over an extended period of time) or a one-off force.

A generalised exercise program has been shown to be as effective as any specialised rehabilitation in the treatment of lower back pain. This is due in part to the fact that pain may remain even after the physical cause of pain has been removed—a symptom without a cause. Exercise can aid in the removing of this pain.

There are major physical, emotional, cognitive and behavioural factors behind chronic pain. All factors must be identified and treated in the effective management of chronic lower back pain.

An action plan for the treatment and prevention of lower back pain should include postural correction, ergonomics, core strength, balance, flexibility, and general cardiovascular and resistance based exercise.


  • Improve core strength and stability.
  • Improve pelvic stability and gluteal strength.
  • Improve lower back strength.
  • Improve lower limb strength.
  • Improve lower limb and back flexibility.
  • Improve lower limb proprioception.
  • Correct postural imbalances.
  • General exercise (resistance and cardiovascular).
  • Weight loss if required.