This paper describes conceptual and clinimetric aspects as well as fields of application of the Hannover Functional Ability Questionnaire for measuring back pain-related disability (FFbH-R). The FFbH-R belongs to a series of short self-administered questionnaires for the assessment of functional limitations in activities of daily living among patients with musculoskeletal disorders. In addition to the FFbH-R, a specific version is available for patients with polyarticular diseases (the FFbH-P), as well as a combined version of both questionnaires. A new questionnaire for patients with osteoarthritis is currently being developed. Data from various studies indicate that the FFbH-R meets the relevant psychometric criteria of acceptability, reliability, validity, and sensitivity to change. It has been successfully applied in (observational and controlled) clinical studies, in epidemiologic surveys, and in compensation disability evaluation.