Recalibrate expectation 

Expectation has a powerful influence on recovery, and health professionals have a powerful influence on expectations.

“something she’d also said to me is ‘unfortunately, because you’ve done this, you have a very high chance of doing it again.’ So that’s kind of come back to me”


Most acute low back pain improves a lot in the first few weeks. Someone may well experience another episode, but this does not mean they never recovered from the first episode (especially if they have returned to full function in between times). 

Interpreting future episodes as being new events, and managing them as such, is more helpful than taking them as evidence the back is weak or damaged. 

The analogy of a cold may be useful. We may feel terrible while we have a cold, but we expect to recover fully. When we experience a subsequent cold we do not assume we failed to recover from a previous cold.