Leading a healthy life can be difficult for those of us struggling with osteoarthritis or chronic lower back pain. On a good day, maybe a single dose of an over-the-counter medication will relieve the pain long enough to go about your work day with little interruption. But the bad days become more and more frequent and eventually no amount of medication or condition-specific stretching can make you feel normal.

Did you know that exercise may reduce pain associated with your chronic condition?

Doctors used to recommend “resting your joints” to reduce joint pain, but many doctors now recommend physical activity to reduce pain, increase function and mobility, and improve mood and quality of life. Various forms of aerobic and muscle strengthening exercises have proven to be effective. For a list of recommended exercises, visit this link: healthline.com/health-slideshow/exercises-to-beat-oa-pain

Who’s the most at risk for osteoarthritis or lower back pain?

When it comes to conditions such as osteoarthritis or lower back pain, former athletes are certainly at risk. The constant wear and tear of playing a sport coupled with the frequent injuries that can occur during an athlete’s career can certainly increase the risk of osteoarthritis. Being overweight can put you at risk as well with the excess weight and pressure being exerted onto your back, knees, and joints.

There’s still hope and new options to consider:

Are you regularly taking over the counter medications and still in pain from OA or lower back pain? Has physical activity become so difficult that you’ve given up the hope in staying active?? Consider joining a pain study in your area where new treatments are being tested for those suffering from chronic OA symptoms and/or lower back pain.  Qualified participants often receive close monitoring from board-certified physicians, investigational medications and compensation for time and travel.  It certainly wouldn’t HURT to find out more!

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