I hurt my back on the job about three years ago. The physical therapist gave me stabilization exercises at that time. I've been pain free ever since. Now after delivering a 10-pound baby I'm having the same back pain again. The stabilization exercises seem to be helping. How often should I do them?

Researchers have found specific stabilization exercises are more effective for postpartum back pain than a regular program of physical therapy. Frequency, intensity, and duration remain a matter for study. Physical therapists at the University of Oslo in Norway had good results using a 20-week time period.

Each woman did the exercises three times a week. They had good results with this prescription. Even a year later, the women remained pain free and able to function. It's possible the same results could occur with a 10-week program, or perhaps with only two sessions a week. We just don't know yet.

Generally, exercise is advised at least three times per week. Keep a log or journal to help you find out what's best for you. Write down when you do the exercises and what you've done. Record any symptoms throughout the day. Compare the results from week to week. This may help you with future episodes of pain.