When you have chronic low back pain (or have had to have low back surgery) and seek help from a healthcare professional you should expect a thorough assessment and a tailored exercise program (at the very least) as this is the most effective way to enable you to improve your condition. 

Movement is one of the best treatments for low back pain & surgery and can get you back to feeling yourself quicker than you might know. Research has shown that carrying out a safe exercise program can get you back to daily activities and work sooner than if you don't. It also results in less days off work over the following 12 months (not that this would be very appealing to most ;-p). 

The exercises should be specific to you as a result of what was found in the assessment and not just a generic handout that is given to everyone. In the majority of cases low back pain is often brought on by lack of function of the abdominals and gluts. When you find the cause of the problem and fix that, as opposed to treating just the low back, this is when you acquire long term results. 

You should be shown how to progress through the exercises you're given in order to keep strengthening and improving your condition. Not just sent on your way with a generic program with no further progression.  

If you're only receiving hands on treatment and not given a home exercise program then you should probably find yourself another healthcare professional as this will not be enough to improve your condition long term. 

This is even more important if you've undergone surgery, as often a lot of damage is done to the muscles of the back and they will need to be retrained to function well again. Your whole body will need to be put through a program to regain function and strength again so no compensations remain. Movement is the best way to recover from low back surgery.