Low back pain affects individuals of all ages and is a leading contributor to disease burden worldwide. Despite advancements in assessment and treatment methods, the management of low back pain remains a challenge for researchers and clinicians alike. One reason for the limited success in identifying effective treatments is the large variation in the manifestations, possible causes, precipitating and maintaining factors, course, prognosis and consequences in terms of activity interference and quality of life. However, despite these challenges, steady progress has been achieved in the understanding of back pain, and important steps in the understanding of the psychological and social risk factors, genetics and brain mechanisms of low back pain have been made. These new findings have given impetus to the development of new diagnostic procedures, evidence-based screening methods and more targeted interventions, which underscore the need for a multidisciplinary approach to the management of low back pain that integrates biological, psychological and social aspects.