Hip pain often occurs when there’s joint inflammation and swelling in the hips. The reason for this varies, and there are a number of different conditions that can cause constant hip pain when walking, bending, and turning.
Reduce Pressure on Hips
Any extra pressure you put on your hips can cause increase pain. It may seem tempting to carry something heavy a short distance, but it could lead to inflammation and pain.
When possible, use a cart or luggage to haul heavy items. If that isn’t possible, a backpack is another good option because you’re distributing the weight across your shoulders rather than your hips.
Avoid High-Impact Exercises
When you first start exercising, avoid high-impact exercises. It takes a lot of build-up before you can start running downhill or boxing.
When your body can take the impact of low-impact exercises, you can bump up your exercise routine. Low-impact exercises include walking, water aerobics, and yoga.
Workout in Water
Working out in water is the ultimate way to turn nearly anything into low-impact fitness. Water supports the whole body and takes a little stress off your joints.
At the same time, it allows you to move slowly, so you’re less likely to hurt anything. Most gyms have water aerobics or water fitness classes, which are great for anyone just starting.
Go to a Physical Therapist
Physical therapists can help in more ways than one. Not only can they help strengthen the muscle, but they can also identify the exact reason you’re feeling pain.
Physical therapists will teach you exercises to strengthen that muscle. Over time, the pain will lessen. It will take a while, so persistence is the key.
Use Heat and Cold Packs
Ice should be used on an area that’s inflamed due to arthritis or bursitis. Lowering the inflammation will help the pain, although it can sometimes require four or five sessions per day for 10-15 minutes.
Hot packs are ideal when you’re not experiencing an inflammation flare-up. Heat can make the inflammation worse but can help soothe day-to-day pain. If your pain is from bursitis, however, avoid this tip. Use heat as desired.
Wear Proper Shoes
Your shoes make a huge difference. If your body isn’t aligned correctly, you can experience a lot of pain. Sometimes the answer for hip pain is a simple one.
High heels put the foot and your body in an unnatural position that increases pressure on the hip. Over time, this can cause major pain. Swap to flats or purchase shoes that support your body.
This one may seem obvious, but it’s surprising how much extra weight can affect your body, especially for pain. For every 10 pounds of extra body weight you carry, there are another 50 pounds of pressure, according to WebMD.
Your joints often feel the strain first, and the pain gets increasingly worse. Speak to your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine, as some regimens can impact your health negatively.
Strengthen the Muscles
Why do we stress strengthening the muscles? Because that’s often where a lot of pain comes from. Your muscles support your joints, and when they’re weak, your bones have more pressure put on them.
Hips, in particular, are supported by a number of muscles from the legs and core, so it takes a variety of exercises to target everything. It’s best to work with a professional before starting on your own. Remember, if you feel pain from a workout, it’s important to stop.
Listen to the Body
The biggest advice anyone with hip pain can give is to listen to your body. You know yourself best. If you feel pain, don’t push through an activity.
It may be best to take a day or two to rest before going back to exercising or daily life. Pushing yourself through the pain could cause more injuries in the long run.
Take Over-the-Counter Meds
Don’t discount over-the-counter medications. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are one of the best ways to ease hip pain. Things like ibuprofen and naproxen are great but can cause stomach irritation.
If you experience stomach irritation from NSAIDs, you can try acetaminophen instead. Ask your doctor which would be best for your condition and which dosage. Always check with your doctor before taking new medication.
Consider Other Medications
For some, over-the-counter medication won’t cut it. Some people have conditions that need unique medications. Some of these conditions include a pinched nerve or rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
For example, if you have RA, a steroid can be used for a short time to help decrease inflammation. These medications aren’t for long-term use, but it can certainly help you during a flare-up.
Relax in Hot Baths
Sometimes a hot pack won’t do the trick. That’s when you need a full-body relaxation session. Most gyms have hot tubs, or you can take a hot bath!
If you have bursitis, however, avoid taking hot baths. Hot baths and extreme heat can increase inflammation, which can cause even more pain.
Getting in any exercise is good but doing it once in a blue moon can often cause more pain. By exercising regularly, you’re conditioning your body and increasing the strength of your muscles.
That being said, don’t exercise when your body is in pain. Listen to your body. Wait until the pain subsides and do low-impact exercises to keep stiffness at bay.
Get Massage Therapy
Starting an exercise routine is a good first step, but what do you do when there’s a little stiffness? Some people who suffer from hip pain swear by massage therapy.
Massage therapists can help work the muscle relax a little more, especially if there’s a knot. A knot is a spot on the muscle that’s tense and tightened, so massaging it could make it rest.
See an Orthopedist
An orthopedist may be the next step if you’ve tried many of these things, and you’re still experiencing pain. An orthopedist will look at scans of your body to see if there are any abnormalities.
By “abnormalities,” it can be anything from an old sports injury to a surgery that just didn’t heal up properly.