Expecting too much of chronic back pain patients (given their pain) is not always helpful. In fact, this type of attitude or behavior has been labelled fear avoidance behavior. Sometimes patients engage in FAB themselves. They may avoid certain activities or movements because they are afraid it might hurt or they might reinjure themselves.
There is an actual test to identify FABs. It's a survey of questions that cover physical activity and beliefs about work. If you suspect someone may be experiencing fear avoidance, it may be helpful to suggest an assessment. Physical therapists are trained to identify individuals with FAB. They can help patients change their fear-avoidance beliefs, attitudes, and actions.