6 tips for keeping your hips strong and healthy

Man paddle boarding

Keeping your hips strong and healthy is important for sitting, standing, walking and many other movements. When your hips hurt, it can interfere with everyday activities.

Hip pain can come from many sources including arthritis, overuse, injury, or good old wear and tear. Follow these tips to keep your hips strong and pain-free.

Lighten the load

Carrying excess weight puts more stress on your hips. Every ten pounds of extra weight1 you carry can result in fifty pounds of weight-bearing pressure across your hips and knees. Losing even a small amount of weight can make a big difference to your joints.

Exercise regularly

Exercise is a great way to maintain strong muscles and keep your joints flexible. The stronger your muscles are, the more support they offer your joints. As a bonus, it will help you lose weight or maintain a healthy one. While exercise is important, you must listen to your body. If you experience sharp or shooting pain, stop the exercise immediately.

Choose low-impact activities

Choose low-impact activities such as walking, cycling, yoga and strength training. Swimming and aqua aerobics are also good options as they allow you to strengthen your muscles without putting as much stress on your joints. Stretching is also helpful in keeping your hips flexible and increasing your range of motion. Avoid sports like running, soccer and high-impact aerobics which put stress on your joints.

Watch your diet

According to the Arthritis foundation, certain diets can improve symptoms caused by osteoarthritis. If your hip pain is a result of arthritis, it is recommended that you eat foods that reduce inflammation such as olive oil, dark leafy greens, nuts, fatty fish and high fiber foods.

Practice good posture

When we stand, walk and even sit in a poor posture, it puts unnecessary strain and stress on the muscles that support the hips. Incorrect postures such as walking with your feet turned in, excessive sitting or standing with your hips in a flexed position can affect alignment and prevent the hip joint from functioning properly.

Keep your home a fall-free zone

One of the most serious fall injuries is a broken hip. Many times, hip fractures occur in the home but there are steps you can take to keep yourself safe. To avoid falls, implement home safety precautions such as removing tripping hazards, improving lighting, adding grab bars inside your shower, and putting railings on stairs. Check out more tips for making your home a fall-free zone.

When to seek a specialist

If none of these self-care treatments gives you relief, talk to your doctor. You may need a referral to an orthopedic specialist. The earlier you treat the issue, the better.
1 WebMD: “Ways to Ease Hip Pain”

Questions about knee pain or treatment options?

If you have questions about knee pain and treatment options, call our nurse navigator Kathryn Harada. Kathryn brings a passion for helping patients. To speak with Kathryn about your situation, call (805) 955-6233 or fill out the form below.


Kathryn Harada, BSN, BA, RN, PHN, CNOR

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