Self-management behavior is an important component for successful pain management in individuals with chronic low back pain. Motivation has been considered as an effective way to change behavior. Because there are other physical, social, and psychological factors affecting individuals with pain, it is necessary to identify the main effect of motivation on self-management behavior without the influence of those factors. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of motivation on self-management in controlling pain, depression, and social support. We used a nonexperimental, cross-sectional, descriptive design with mediation analysis and included 120 participants' data in the final analysis. We also used hierarchical multiple regression to test the effect of motivation, and multiple regression analysis and Sobel test were used to examine the mediating effect. Motivation itself accounted for 23.4% of the variance in self-management, F(1, 118) = 35.003, p < .001. After controlling covariates, motivation was also a significant factor for self-management. In the mediation analysis, motivation completely mediated the relationship between education and self-management, z = 2.292, p = .021. Motivation is an important part of self-management, and self-management education is not effective without motivation. The results of our study suggest that nurses incorporate motivation in nursing intervention, rather than only giving information.