Using Hip Exercises To Help Aching Hip Arthritis

March 26, 2009 by  
Filed under Body Exercises

For some, it may seem like more pain but exercise is one of the best pain therapies for hip arthritis. Not only does the exercise help reduce pain but can thwart progression of the arthritis.

To compensate for painful hips, many will put more strain on the knees thus creating arthritic problems in the knees. Conversely, with arthritis in the knee joints, more emphasis may be placed on the hips creating problems there.

To prevent this cycle, exercises for the hips which also benefit the knees, can be taken as a method of managing the pain and strengthening the muscles. The 3 most beneficial exercises for the hips are, reduced impact aerobic exercise and stretching exercises, and strengthening the muscles.

The best routine to get into is to do some if not all of these forms of exercise everyday. The body will respond better to continuous exercise as opposed to short sharp bursts interspersed with no exercise over a period of time.

Following are some easy to follow exercises for the hips.

Stretching The Hip

Be careful not to stretch too far, stay within the comfort zone. Make sure to do some stretching exercises every day. This will give you a better quality of life making everyday activities easier and less painful. Make sure you are not alone as you might require assistance to get up from the floor.

Exercise 1 – Raised Bent Leg (Repeat 5 times)

Lie down with you back in contact with the floor and slowly raise your right knee and position your left foot as near to the top of the thigh as possible. Slide your foot on the floor to enable the position. Again, slowly, raise your leg so that you knee is close to your chest. To assist this position you may want to pull the thigh with your hands, do not pull the knee.

Maintain this position for 5 seconds then release your leg slowly to the floor, stretch and relax. Do the same with the left leg

Exercise 2 – Raised Bent Leg With Rotation (5 Rotations)

Raise the right leg till the knee is in the air then slowly rotate the knee with the rotations moving in the direction of the other hip and back up. You may wish to give the thigh support with your hands. 5 rotations then repeat the process for the left leg.

Strengthening The Hip

Exercise 1 – Raised Straight Leg (2-5 Repetitions)

Lying with your back in contact with the floor keep your knees upright and the bottom of your feet in contact with the floor. Raise your right foot while tightening the muscles in the same thigh keeping the knee as straight as possible within your comfort range. Your foot should not be more than 2 feet from the ground and the back straight.

Hold this position for 10 seconds, then slowly release back to the ground. And relax. Follow the same process for the left leg.

Exercise 2 – Foot Roll (5-10 Repetitions)

Using a counter for support, standing around 2 feet away, stand with legs spread apart. Support your body with your heels and slowly lift toes turning to face inward then rotate back outward. The full leg will rotate within the hip joint during this exercise.

Exercise 3 – Backward Leg Raise (5 Repetitions)

Again supporting yourself on the counter, raise your right leg up behind you, with the knee kept straight. Hold the position for 5 seconds then release. Follow the same process for the left leg.

Aerobic Exercises – Reduced Impact

The type of aerobic exercise for the purposes of hip arthritis should be strictly low impact. Exercises such as running, jogging, jumping or skipping should be avoided. The stress to the joints in these types of exercise can be significant. The best form of exercise is swimming as there is very little impact with the support of the water or use of an exercise bike.

Never continue to exercise if you feel any abnormal aching or sharp pain. Be patient with the exercise and gradually build strength. It is possible to reduce pain using these exercises within a few weeks or less. If you are still showing no signs of improvement after 2 weeks it may be beneficial to consult with a physiotherapist where they can assess your condition. The exercises, in certain cases may not give pain relief but will at the very least lessen progression of the condition.