It’s All In The Hips: Improving Mobility In Hip Arthritis

Arthritis patients commonly experience hip pain, causing difficulty walking, stiffness, and pain, and it can leave you on the sidelines of your life – but you don’t have to let it. If you’re struggling to keep moving because of arthritis, a carefully planned exercise plan, supplements, and medical care can all help improve your mobility. Though it can be challenging to push through the pain at first, focusing on your fitness can help reduce the severity of your arthritis in the long-term.

Start Slowly

When exercising with hip arthritis, it’s important to start slow and focus on low-impact activities. Walking is always a good option, as is swimming and water aerobics. You don’t want to increase stress on the joint, but you also want to engage in activities that will improve your range of motion and stamina. Other beneficial activities for hip arthritis include yoga, tai chi, and riding a stationary bike on a low-resistance setting.

Restoring The Joint

While exercising can help reduce hip pain, some patients with hip arthritis are unable to begin an exercise regime because of the severity of the damage to the joint. Luckily, if you have serious joint degeneration, you have a few options. First, you might consider stem cell therapy to regenerate cartilage in the joint and minimize inflammation. This treatment uses your body’s own mesenchymal stem cells derived from fat, and then those stem cells are injected into the hip joint to initiate healing.

If stem cell treatment isn’t sufficient to restore your joint, you may have to pursue hip replacement surgery. Though hip replacement surgery is highly invasive, the procedure has come a long way in recent years and most patients recover quickly.

Supplement Your Diet

What you put in your body plays a significant role in how well it functions, which is why arthritis patients benefit so much from dietary supplements. Adding ginger, glucosamine, and capsaicin can help relieve pain, reduce joint inflammation, and make it easier for you to exercise. These supplements can also minimize your need for traditional pain relievers like acetaminophen and naproxen, and they’re much easier for your body to process.

Work With A Therapist

Sometimes the best way to start exercising again after you’ve been sedentary for a long period is by working with a physical therapist. Unlike when exercising independently, physical therapists focus specifically on mobility, flexibility, and strengthening by prescribing a variety of different activities.

How well does physical therapy work, compared to independent arthritis management? In one study, patients with hip arthritis who performed physical therapy-prescribed activities 2-3 times per week for twelve weeks were less likely to need hip surgery within the next six years. Furthermore, those who did need hip replacement surgery were able to delay it by an average of two years over those in the study who were not prescribed exercise. Though all of the patients received preliminary patient education about hip arthritis, it was those who then worked with a physical therapist that saw meaningful improvement in their condition.

Hip arthritis is a common issue, impacting 10% of individuals over age 65, and the condition is typically progressive. If you’re already experiencing limited mobility, it’s important to take steps today to reverse the process and remember that there are always options, no matter how advanced your arthritis is.

With proper treatment and support, you can get off the sidelines.

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