There’s nothing like regular exercise and physical activity to strengthen your muscles and joints, keep your body limber, and prevent aches and pains. However, if you are suffering from hip arthritis, there are certain exercises that will only exacerbate your condition and should therefore be avoided.
Osteoarthritis (OA) – often referred to as wear-and-tear arthritis – is the most common form of the disease affecting the hips. It’s a condition that gradually worsens as the cartilage that cushions the bones in the afflicted joints breaks down.
While some exercises build strength and provide improved flexibility and mobility to help offset the effects of OA, other exercises increase joint contact forces, thereby placing more stress on the joints and intensifying hip pain instead of reducing it.
Exercises to Avoid
When exercising, your body often produces force that comes from weight-bearing and your foot having contact with the ground. This force travels upward from your foot, and your hip joint absorbs it to allow your body to regain its stability and balance.
That being said, there are exercises and sports activities you should avoid if you have been diagnosed with arthritis of the hip. These include:
- Sports that involve sudden stops and movements – such as tennis, baseball, handball, hockey, and soccer – which place greater stress on the joints and pose a higher risk of developing hip pain either during or after the activity.
- Exercises on uneven ground – such as sand, concrete, or natural terrain – which forces you to adjust and stabilize your posture with every stride, placing additional strain on your hips. Your workouts should be limited to smooth, even surfaces.
- High-impact exercises – such as running and jumping – that have a significant impact on your joints. Each time your heel hits the ground when running, it places a force equivalent to up to three times your body weight on your feet. This force then travels up to your knees and hips, putting considerable stress on soft tissues such as your joints, tendons, and ligaments, not to mention the bones and cartilage in the joint.
- Exercises that involve standing for prolonged periods of time. This puts strain on your joints that can worsen any pain you are already experiencing.
- Weightlifting exercises performed incorrectly. While strength training that includes weightlifting can be helpful for hip arthritis sufferers, lifting heavy weights with your legs places a severe strain on the hips.
Alternative Exercises That Actually Help Your Hip Arthritis
Although the sports and exercises mentioned above can worsen your hip arthritis symptoms, there are other exercises that can help provide relief. These include:
- Low-impact aerobics – such as walking, cycling, and elliptical training – can help improve your joint mobility and movement.
- Regular stretching exercises help to maintain your hip joint’s full range of motion, preventing it from becoming stiff due to lack of use or activity, and reducing your risk of injury. Just be sure to relax your stiff joints with a heating pad or a hot shower before doing your stretching exercises.
- Strength or resistance training involving the use of your weight or equipment, such as dumbbells, can help build muscle strength and endurance in hip muscles, reducing the load that the hip muscles carry and minimizing the force they absorb.
- Range of motion exercises, which are similar to stretching, can help improve flexibility, mobility, and physical functioning of your hip joints.
Hip Arthritis Doctor Near Me in Raleigh, Apex & Brier Creek, North Carolina
To learn more about managing your hip arthritis safely, consult with Dr. Brett J. Gilbert. Dr. Gilbert is a board-certified and fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon whose goal is to provide compassionate care, technical expertise, and personalized attention to patients with hip or knee issues.
In addition to advising patients with hip arthritis, our clinic offers effective orthopedic surgical care for a wide variety of knee and hip conditions using state-of-the-art technology and advanced treatment options that include:
- Minimally Invasive Total Hip Replacement
- MAKOplasty Robotic-Assisted Joint Replacement
- Revision Total Hip Replacement
- Outpatient Joint Replacement
For more information about these effective treatment options, schedule a consultation with Dr. Gilbert by calling our office at (919) 788-8797 today. Or, if you prefer, use our convenient online form to arrange your appointment.