Hip pain can affect daily life, making it difficult to walk, climb stairs, bend over, or even sit down comfortably. But hip pain does not need to rule your life. Once you’ve visited an orthopedist to find out what’s wrong with your hip and how to treat it, you can manage the pain in several ways.
The board-certified doctors at Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence offer methods you can do at home to help relieve your hip pain.
Ice It Down
If your hip is hurting, it’s most likely because the joint is inflamed. Your hip joint can become inflamed from arthritis or bursitis conditions. If this happens, try putting ice on the joint. Ice can help lower inflammation and control the pain.
Heat It Up
If you have an arthritic hip joint, using warm heat from a bath or a shower can help soothe the joint. Be advised, however, that if you have bursitis, you should not use heat, as it can actually make the inflammation worse.
Though it takes time to do, losing weight helps relieve some of the pressure on your hip joint. If you have osteoarthritis (also known as wear-and-tear arthritis), your hip pain can lessen by losing even a few pounds.
By starting your day with light exercise, you can get your muscles working to help support you the rest of the day. A great hip exercise to start your day with is the bridge exercise.
To do the bridge, lie on your back with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Raise your buttocks off of the floor. As you’re doing this, tighten your abdominal muscles. Try to keep your knees, ankles, and shoulders aligned. Do not arch your back. Try to hold this position for 3-5 seconds. Start with one set of 10 reps, eventually building up to 2-3 sets over time.
Water aerobics and swimming are great exercises for your hip joints. Exercising in the water allows you to build up your muscles without adding additional stress or pressure on the joints.
Walking helps strengthen your muscles without putting stress on your joints. Exercises like running and jumping should be avoided, since they can make hip pain worse – especially hip pain that is caused by arthritis or bursitis.
If you have hip pain caused by bursitis, it can help to stretch the hip muscles that sit on top of the bursae, which are sacs of fluid making up part of the hip joint’s lining.
To do this stretch, kneel on the leg of the hip that’s giving you pain (hold on to something sturdy for balance). Then, tilt your pelvis forward and tighten the muscles in your buttocks. Lean away from the hip that hurts. By doing this, you should feel a pull from the top of your hip bone to the side of your leg and down to your knee. Try to hold this stretch for 30 seconds, repeating 1-2 times.
Your inner thighs help support your hips; therefore, strengthening these muscles can help lessen your hip pain. However, please note that these exercises are not for hip pain caused by bursitis.
To strengthen your inner thighs, lie flat on your back, put a ball (about the size of a volleyball) between your knees, and squeeze. Do 1-3 sets of 10 repetitions. Make sure you keep your pelvis tilted down to the floor so that your back is protected.
If arthritis is causing your hip pain, then strengthening the outer thighs can help add support.
To strengthen the outer thighs, lie on the side that does not hurt you. Lift the leg on your arthritic side about 6 inches, holding it for 2-3 seconds, and then lower it again. Do 1-3 sets of 10 repetitions. If it isn’t too painful, try repeating this on your other side.
Listen to Your Body
Always listen to your body when stretching and exercising. If you experience pain that lingers for hours or days after exercise, it may be a sign that your joint needs to rest. While some soreness is expected after exercise, that soreness should not persist or become worse. If you experience any sharp pains or other symptoms, stop the exercise immediately and talk to your doctor.
Different Treatments for Different Reasons
Keep in mind that some of these tips for pain relief may be better for some than others. It depends on the reasons behind your hip pain. The best way to know for sure what’s causing your hip pain is to visit a board-certified orthopedist who can properly diagnose and treat you. Then you can use the pain relief methods that work best for you and your condition.
Orthopedic Expertise in Colorado
Don’t let hip pain rule your life. For outstanding orthopedic treatment of your hip pain, visit the board-certified doctors at Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence.
When surgery is warranted, we utilize the latest and least-invasive techniques available. We ensure the best care possible, delivered with compassion and respect.