Several studies have come up with the same results. Exercise helps chronic pain patients get pain relief and more function after six weeks of strengthening. Six months to a year later, they have about the same results as patients who are just given advice.
Some patients may find the exercise program is worth the time and money. Individual suffering is less early on. There may be less time lost at work. They may be able to resume normal activities sooner.
For many people quality of life is an important factor. For them investing time in an exercise program is worth the earlier payback.