This study investigated the relationship between psychosocial work characteristics and low-back pain and the potential intermediate role of psychological strain variables in this relationship. The research was part of a prospective cohort study of risk factors for musculoskeletal symptoms. The study population consisted of 861 workers from 34 companies in the Netherlands who had no low-back pain at baseline and for whom data on the occurrence of low-back pain were obtained with annual questionnaires during a 3-year follow-up period. Information on psychosocial work characteristics and psychosocial strain variables was collected using a questionnaire at baseline. Cases of low-back pain were defined as workers who reported, in at least one of the annual follow-up questionnaires, that they had had regular or prolonged low-back pain in the previous 12 months. It can be concluded that low social support, from either supervisors or co-workers, appears to be a risk factor for low-back pain. Some indications of a relationship between high quantities job demands and high conflicting demands and low-back pain were also found. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.