Self-management interventions for persistent low back pain (LBP) promote active involvement of the patient in managing their condition. Such interventions can be characterised as behaviour change interventions, in that they are designed to help the patient learn and adopt a set of health behaviours that they can use in everyday life to benefit their condition by reducing or managing their symptoms. Self-management interventions are recommended in several key guidelines for the treatment of persistent LBP, but the evidence for the effectiveness of these types of interventions is inconclusive. In this article, we discuss the existing literature within self-management interventions for persistent LBP and make suggestions for how research in this area can be improved, specifically addressing areas where evidence is currently lacking. Existing definitions of self-management are examined, and the importance of the choice of an underlying theory and appropriate outcome measures are discussed.