Harvard Health Letter

Three steps to build a better back

Brisk walking works many muscles that support a strong and healthy back, such as the muscles in the thighs, calves, abdomen, hips, and buttocks.

Image: Thinkstock

Strengthening, stretching, and improving posture will go a long way toward reducing back pain that comes with age.

Back pain is one of the top complaints of people around the world, with eight out of 10 people experiencing it at some point in their lives. "Most people tolerate it and work around it. But in older age it's more challenging to live with back pain, because you have a stiffer back that's more arthritic," says Dr. Kevin McGuire, chief of orthopedic spine surgery at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital.

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