Avoid back pain and improve balance by strengthening core muscles

ou don't have to do crunches; these simple, gentle exercises will make a big difference.

It's spring, and that means you may be heading out to the golf course or backyard garden. But those activities can also have you heading to the doctor with back pain unless you take steps to strengthen the muscles that support the spine. "It is true in almost all cases that strong muscles help to reduce back pain," says geriatric physical therapy specialist Kelly Macauley, a clinical instructor with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions.

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