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Will low back and abdominal exercises pay off in the long run?

Q: I have low back pain for the first time. My Physical Therapist started me on a program to train my low back and abdominal muscles. Will these exercises pay off in the long run?

A: In a recent study, patients who did exercises to strengthen the muscles that support the spine had excellent long-term results. After doing exercises for just one month, these patients were much less prone to low back pain. Three years after treatment, only 35 percent of them had another episode of low back pain, versus 75 percent of patients who hadn't done the exercises. This research suggests that training specific muscles of the low back and abdomen may cut your chances of future low back pain in half.