According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), arthritis affects 54 million Americans, up to 24 million of whom experience limited mobility and discomfort. If you are one of these people, the idea of doing physical activities may seem counterintuitive, especially when you have hip arthritis and you’re in pain. However, did you know that a lack of exercise can actually exacerbate your condition?
Although it may seem painful and uncomfortable, exercise can provide you with relief in the long run. Regular exercise can help strengthen your muscles and make your hip joint more stable, which is why orthopedic specialists recommend it as a crucial part of hip arthritis treatment.
Here are the best exercises for hip arthritis that you should discuss with your bone and joint specialist. Make sure to start with very little intensity and increase it slowly.
These exercises are geared toward improving your overall fitness and helping to manage your weight—which means less strain on your hip joint.
It’s quite tricky to figure out how much aerobic exercise is appropriate before crossing into overdoing it. The best way to ensure you are within the low-intensity exercise zone is to talk or sing while exercising. If you are able to do so without trouble, it means you are within the low-intensity zone.
- Walking: Bone and joint specialists suggest that walking is one of the best forms of exercise for hip arthritis. Walking boosts blood flow to your cartilage, giving it the nutrients necessary to provide cushion to the ends of your joints. Start out with 20 to 30 minutes at a time, three to five times a week, then gradually increase the time and frequency to build up your endurance.
- Water Aerobics: Water exercises such as swimming and water walking are beneficial because the water provides natural resistance to your movement. Water exercises help you build muscle by allowing your body to push against that resistance. The water also makes you buoyant and takes the pressure off the hip joints.
Muscle-strengthening exercises are designed to strengthen and stabilize joints. Remember to not overdo it and work within your pain limits. If you feel sharp, sudden pain, stop what you’re doing and rest.
- Bridging: As you lie on your back, see to it that your knees are bent and your feet are flat on the floor. Slowly lift your pelvis and lower back off the floor. Hold for up to 5 seconds, then return to your previous position slowly.
- Heel-to-Buttock Exercise: Pull your heel up toward your bottom by bending your knee. Make sure your kneecap is pointing toward the floor and your knees are in line.
- Hip Extension: Hold onto a chair while keeping your knee straight. Slowly move your leg backward, then clench your buttock tightly. Stay in this position for up to 5 seconds. Make sure to not lean forward.
Range-of-motion exercises are also known as flexibility exercises, aimed at easing the stiffness in your hips and improving how well you can move around.
To start, do the following exercises a few times a week, then try to build up to doing them every day.
- Double Hip Rotation: Rotate your knees slowly to your left, lowering them toward the floor. Rotate your head, then face right while keeping your shoulders against the floor. Stay in this position for up to 30 seconds, then slowly return both your head and your knees to the starting position.
- Knee-to-Chest Exercise Lie on your back, keeping your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Bring one knee into your hands, then slowly pull your knee toward your chest. Hold up to 5 seconds. Repeat three times, then switch to the other side.
- Standing Hip Flexor Stretch Hold onto a wall or chair for support. Put one foot forward and make sure your feet are hip-distance apart. Slightly bend the back leg, then slowly bend the front knee, maintaining an upright upper body position. Remember to not let your front knee go past your toes. Keep this position for up to 20 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
Finding the Best Hip Arthritis Treatment in North Dakota
Don’t let the symptoms of hip arthritis render you unable to do the things you enjoy. Exercise is your most effective pill-free treatment to alleviate the pain and symptoms of hip arthritis. You can consult any one of our board-certified, highly skilled orthopedic surgeons. They are experts in treating hip arthritis and can help you determine the exercises that best meet your needs. They can devise a treatment plan for you to reduce pain, maintain function, and prevent the progression of your condition.
Call us today at The Bone & Joint Center at (701) 946-7400 / (866) 900-8650 to schedule an appointment or use our online request form. We look forward to being your healthcare partner!