Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease caused when cartilage breaks down. This allows the bones to rub together, which can result in bone spurs, stiffness, and pain.
If you have osteoarthritis of the hip, pain may prevent you from exercising. A lack of exercise may even contribute to osteoarthritis and muscle atrophy. Regular physical activity can help strengthen muscles, improve balance, and make your hip joints more stable.
- 1. Walking
- 2. Stationary Biking
- 3. Water Exercises
Muscle Strengthening Exercises:
1. Chair Stand - Set a chair against the wall and sit towards the front of the chair with your feet flat on the floor. Recline back with arms crossed and hands on your shoulders. With your head, neck, and back straight, bring your upper body forward and slowly rise to a standing position. Slowly return to your original seated position. Repeat this up to six times, slowly building your strength up to 12 repetitions.
2. Bridging - Lie down on your back on the floor or other firm surface. With your knees bent and your feet on the floor, place your palms down near your hips. With a straight back, lift your buttocks up as high as possible. Use your hands for balance. Then lower yourself back to the floor. Do four to six repetitions.
3. Hip Extension - Using the back of a chair to balance yourself, bend forward and lift your right leg straight behind you. Lift the leg as high as possible without bending your knee. After holding the position briefly, lower the leg slowly. Repeat with your left leg and try to complete this four to six times.
Flexibility Exercises - Gentle flexibility exercises, or range-of-motion exercises, help with mobility and reducing stiffness.
1. Inner Leg Stretch - Sit with knees bent and the soles of your feet touching. Holding your shins or ankles, bend your upper body forward slowly. Gently press your knees down with your elbows. Hold for about 20 to 30 seconds.
2. Hip and Lower Back Stretch - Lie down on your back with legs outstretched. With your neck on the floor, turn your chin toward your chest. Bend your knees and hold them with your hands. Pull your knees toward your shoulders as far as you can. Take a deep breath and bring your knees higher as you exhale.
3. Lie down on your back, with knees bent and feet flat toward the floor. With your shoulders on the floor, slowly lower your knees to one side while turning your head to the other. Bring knees back and repeat on the opposite side.
These are some things to remember when doing an exercise program:
- Listen to your body and adjust your activities as necessary.
- Stick with gentle exercises that can strengthen the muscles around your hips.
- If you feel increased pain, stop and rest. If joint pain continues hours after you've stopped, you are over exerting your hip.
- Increase your activity level throughout the day by walking whenever possible.
Ask your doctor to recommend a physical therapist who understands osteoarthritis of the hip. Physical therapists can target treatment specifically for your condition and can offer suggestions about your daily routine.
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