One of the most common orthopedic issues is hip pain, which can range from sharp and sudden pain to a dull ache that persists over time. According to the CDC, over 23 million American adults experience hip pain each year. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing this condition or prevent it from worsening if you already have it. Dr. Larson, an orthopaedic surgeon with decades of experience, is here to tell you more about how to prevent hip pain.
How to Classify Hip Pain
Types of hip pain can typically be classified into three categories: degenerative, inflammatory, and mechanical. Of these three, mechanical hip pain, such as osteoarthritis, is the most common according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Mechanical hip pain is generally caused by activities such as overuse, walking or running on uneven terrain, sitting for extended periods of time, or engaging in repetitive motions. Degenerative hip pain is caused by the normal wear and tear of aging, while inflammatory hip pain results from conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout.
Preventing Hip Pain
Regardless of the type of hip pain you are experiencing, there are a few things you can do to prevent it from getting worse. Dr. Larson recommends following these four key steps for preventing hip pain: exercise regularly, take care of your joints, wear proper footwear, and ensure proper posture.
Regular exercise strengthens the muscles and tendons surrounding your hips, allowing them to better support and protect your hip joint. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily, such as walking or swimming. Stretching and strengthening exercises, like yoga and Pilates, can also be beneficial. Stretching regularly helps keep your tissues healthy and flexible, which can help reduce stiffness and tension in the hips.
Take Care of Your Joints
Keeping your joints healthy is essential for preventing hip pain. Try to avoid high-impact activities, such as running and jumping, which can put additional strain on the joint. Additionally, take steps to reduce inflammation in the area by eating a balanced diet full of anti-inflammatory foods like fruits and vegetables.
Wear Proper Footwear
Wearing shoes that are properly fitted for your feet can also help prevent hip pain. Make sure to replace your shoes when they become worn out, as old shoes may no longer provide the necessary support for your feet and hips.
Ensure Proper Posture
Your posture is important for preventing hip pain. Make sure to stand up straight and keep your shoulders back, as this can help reduce strain on the joint. Additionally, when sitting, try to take frequent breaks or use a supporting pillow to ensure you are not putting too much stress on your hips.
By following these steps, you can reduce your risk of developing hip pain and keep it from worsening if you already have the condition. However, if you are experiencing ongoing or severe pain in your hips, be sure to contact an orthopaedic specialist like Dr. Larson for a diagnosis and treatment plan.
It’s important to remember that prevention is the key to avoiding hip pain. By taking a proactive approach, you can keep your hips healthy and reduce the risk of developing this condition.