My husband is in his mid-forties and seems to be having more and more back problems. He went to see a physical therapist who helped him learn to move and lift correctly. The therapist even looked at his work duties and made some changes in the workspace. Now my husband is doing several exercises that are supposed to help support his back. How does anyone know if these exercises really work?

Understanding the specific ways exercises work to strengthen the back is a major area of study right now. Physical therapists are using today's technology to measure when and how muscles work during each exercise. First, they are studying healthy people who have not had any back injuries or back problems. These results will be compared with measurements of people who have had back problems. This information will help therapists more effectively train people with back pain or injuries.