Arthritis affects 54 million Americans, with up to 24 million experiencing limited mobility and discomfort, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you are one of these people, it may seem counterintuitive to engage in physical activities, especially if you have hip arthritis and are in pain.
Did you know, however, that a lack of exercise can actually worsen your condition?
Although it may appear painful and uncomfortable at first, exercise can provide long-term relief. Regular exercise can help strengthen your muscles and stabilize your hip joint, which is why orthopedic doctors recommend it as an important part of hip arthritis treatment.
Here are the best hip arthritis exercises to discuss with your bone and joint specialist. Start with a low level of intensity and gradually increase it.
These exercises are designed to improve your overall fitness and aid in weight management, which means less strain on your hip joint.
It can be difficult to determine how much aerobic exercise is necessary before going overboard. Talking or singing while exercising is the best way to ensure you are in the low-intensity exercise zone. If you can do this without difficulty, you are in the low-intensity zone.
Walking, according to bone and joint specialists, is one of the best forms of exercise for hip arthritis. Walking increases blood flow to your cartilage, providing it with the nutrients it requires to cushion the ends of your joints. Begin with 20 to 30 minutes three to five times per week, then gradually increase the time and frequency to build endurance.
Water Aerobics Swimming and water walking are beneficial water exercises because the water provides natural resistance to your movement. Water exercises aid in muscle development by allowing your body to push against resistance. The water also makes you buoyant, relieving pressure on your hip joints.
Exercises for Muscle Strengthening
Muscle-building exercises are intended to strengthen and stabilize joints. Remember not to overdo it and to work within your pain tolerance. Stop what you're doing and rest if you feel sharp, sudden pain.
Bridging: While lying on your back, make sure your knees are bent and your feet are flat on the floor. Lift your pelvis and lower your back slowly off the floor. Hold for up to 5 seconds before slowly returning to your previous position.
Heel-to-Buttock Exercise: Bend your knee and pull your heel up toward your bottom. Check that your kneecap is pointing to the floor and that your knees are in line.
Holding onto a chair while keeping your knee straight is an example of hip extension. Move your leg back slowly, then clench your buttocks tightly. Maintain this posture for up to 5 seconds. Take care not to lean forward.
Exercising Range of Motion
Range-of-motion exercises, also known as flexibility exercises, are designed to relieve hip stiffness and improve mobility.
To begin, perform the following exercises a few times per week, gradually increasing to daily.
Double Hip Rotation: Slowly rotate your knees to the left, lowering them to the floor. Turn your head to the right and keep your shoulders against the floor. Hold this position for up to 30 seconds before slowly returning your head and knees to the starting position.
Knee-to-Chest Workout: Sit with your back straight, your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Take one knee in your hands and slowly pull it toward your chest. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat three times more, then switch to the opposite side.
Standing Stretch your hip flexors. Hold on to a chair or a wall for support. Place one foot forward and keep your feet hip-distance apart. Bend the back leg slightly, then slowly bend the front knee while maintaining an upright upper body position. Remember not to extend your front knee past your toes. Maintain this posture for up to 20 seconds. Rep 10 times more.
Don't let hip arthritis symptoms prevent you from doing the things you enjoy. Exercise is the most effective non-drug treatment for hip arthritis pain and symptoms. You are welcome to consult with any of our board-certified, highly skilled orthopedic surgeons. They are hip arthritis specialists who can advise you on the exercises that will best suit your needs. They can create a treatment plan for you to reduce pain, maintain function, and prevent your condition from progressing.