Unfortunately, it’s just a fact that hip and joint pain gets worse as you age, especially after 55. One in four men and women over 60 suffer from hip pain caused by a type of arthritis called osteoarthritis.
So, what causes this hip pain that can mean stiffness and pain affecting mobility and sleeping? The hip joint gets a lot of wear and tear in the ball-and-socket joint, which is the body’s largest joint and fits together in a way that allows for fluid movement. Repeated activities can put strain on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support the hips, which is why many athletes and active people suffer from overuse. Arthritis leads to inflammation of the hip joint and the breakdown of the cartilage that cushions your hip bones which causes the pain to get worse.
How to Treat Hip Pain
In extreme cases, hip pain can be treated with surgery. However in a lot of cases you can reduce the pain associated with the most three common causes:
- mild inflammation of the tissues around the hip joint
- damage to cartilage, the strong, flexible tissue that lines the bones
- bony growths (osteophytes) that develop around the edge of the hip joint – you would also have a fever or rash
There are lots of simple ways to help you reducing hip pain:
- Rest. One of the best remedies is to rest and reduce activity that causes the pain.
- Cold/ice pack. Hold on the hip if it hurts for 15minutes a few times a day to reduce inflammation.
- Wrapping a bandage around the hip and pelvis can help.
- Elevation. Reclining with your feet up can help reduce the tension in your hips.
- Lose weight if you’re overweight to relieve some of the strain on your hip.
- Stop high impact activities and avoid activities that make the pain worse, such as downhill running.
- Do low-impact exercises, such as swimming or cycling, instead of running.
- Wear flat shoes and avoid standing for long periods.
- See a physiotherapist for some muscle-strengthening exercises.
- Take painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.
- Reduce overactivity if you find this causes your hips pain.
- Always warm up before exercising and stretch after exercising.
- If you do go running, run on a smooth, soft surface, such as grass, rather than on concrete
- Make sure your running shoes fit well and support your feet properly – read more about choosing sports shoes and trainers
- Take a daily warm bath or shower to help relax your muscles and reduce the pain.
- Do daily stretches:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and toes forward.
- Bend your right knee, and bring your right heel up toward your butt.
- Hold your right foot with the right hand, and gently pull to point your knee toward the floor. You can hold on to a counter or chair with your left hand for balance.
- Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on your other leg.
- Lie on your back on the floor with your legs straight, toes pointing toward the ceiling.
- Keep your right leg straight on the floor, bend your left knee so your foot is flat on the floor, and lace your fingers behind your left knee.
- Pull your left knee toward your chest. Keep your back, hips, and right leg on the floor.
- Exhale and pull your left knee closer toward your chest.
- Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
And if the hip pain starts affecting your daily life, it is best to go and see the doctor and get a consultation.