As with many joints around the body, hip joints are sometimes taken for granted, until they hurt. Once you start to feel the pain, you realize just how often hips are used in your daily activities. Being diagnosed with arthritis can be disappointing, but it doesn’t mean you have to be in pain all the time. There are some activities or actions you may want to avoid if you have arthritis of the hip in order to minimize pain levels, inflammation, and discomfort.
1. High impact activities
Sports that are played on hard surfaces that require jumping, rapid turns, and immediate stops can put a high level of stress on your joints. Some examples of these high impact activities include: soccer, football, hockey, basketball, running, tennis, racquetball, and CrossFit. Your best option here is to switch to low impact sports and activities in order to minimize wear and tear of your joints. Examples of low impact or no impact activities that can still be great exercise, fun, and competitive include: swimming, water aerobics, bowling, golfing, bicycling, and kayaking. Before playing any type of sport, it’s important to warm up your joints. Measure your pain levels before and after certain activities which will help gauge the stress each sport puts on your joints. If your pain is frequent or persists after certain activities, you should assess the intensity or length of time you participate in these activities and consider switching to low impact option instead.
2. Bending at the hip
If you are experiencing pain in your hips, when bending you should use your knees to distribute the stress evenly, or sit down on a chair before you bend. A tool that could be beneficial to help you with these activities is a long-handled reacher. This type of tool can help you pick up things off the floor, as well as reach for things overhead that you may not get to when sitting down. There are other daily activities like tying your shoes, putting on your socks, and personal hygiene that can become difficult. Sock aids and shoe horns are great devices that can safely help you complete these tasks without causing pain to your hips.
After warming up your muscles for 5 to 10 minutes with low intensity physical activity such as walking, you should stretch gently. Stretching will help increase blood flow to the muscles and warms them to prepare your tendons and muscles for further physical activity. Specific stretches such as butterflies and cross over leg stretches should only be done to the point where you can feel the stretch and not much beyond that. Tai chi and yoga provide great methods of stretching, but should not be overdone. Over-stretching can put extra strain on your hips and in turn create more pain, instead of less.
4. Staying in one position too long
Whether it’s sitting, standing, or biking for extended periods of time, it may be the position of your body that’s the issue, not the activity itself. If you experience stiffness when getting up from your chair or bed, try getting up more frequently. You could set a timer for every 30 minutes to remind yourself to stand up and take a walk. Your overall discomfort may be reduced over time. Having arthritis in your hips should make you more aware of how much time you spend in each position daily.
Hip arthritis can be painful and discouraging, but it doesn’t have to stop you from living a healthy and happy life. Thankfully, there are some activities that you can avoid or modify to prevent pain, decrease inflammation, and reduce stiffness. Another way to achieve these goals is to add an all natural joint supplement to your daily diet. If you need help choosing a supplement, or understanding what’s best for you, let us know. We’re happy to help!