Hip Arthritis Exercises

Hip Arthritis Exercises for Pain Relief and Stability

Arthritis in the hips can be downright painful and make it difficult to complete daily tasks. Hip pain can make bending over a challenge and even walking from room to room a painful endeavor. The good news is that physical activity and movement can be beneficial for physical and mental health, which is crucial for coping with arthritis.

Through proper exercise, you may even be able to slow down the progression of arthritis. However, if you are new to exercise, you may want to seek medical advice before you begin. A professional exercise plan with your medical history in mind may help you avoid injury.

No single exercise is better than the rest when treating hip pain. Often, it’s best to incorporate several types of exercise and find what works best for you. However, before beginning, take time to learn the proper form for each movement to avoid exacerbating your symptoms and avoid injury.

Your hips are integral to the body’s function, so it’s essential to protect and strengthen them. Whether you have rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis in your hip joint, the following exercises may help you stretch and strengthen your body to alleviate pain and stiffness over time.

Aerobic Exercise

One of the easiest, low impact exercises patients find relief with is walking. It’s gentle on the body and a great stress reliever too. Swimming and bicycling are also great aerobic exercises that can be performed by just about anybody if walking doesn’t help. 

Aerobic exercises are great for weight management and to improve cardiovascular health. The important thing is to get moving in a way that works for you. Choosing something that you enjoy will help you keep at it too! Motivation is key.

Strength Training

A strong core is key to pain relief, strength, and good posture. Your abdomen is a large part of your core. However, if any aspect of your core is significantly weak, it can wreak havoc on your whole body and cause severe pain. Not only can this cause pain, but it can lead to issues with balance, coordination, and decreased flexibility too.

The following strengthening exercises may stop the pain in its tracks by stretching and strengthening your soft tissues. Remember, strengthening your muscles is key to pain prevention and management!

Bridge

  • Lay down on your back with your knees bent. Your feet should be on the floor. Let your arms rest at your sides with your palms down.
  • Next, raise your buttocks up and then back down slowly.
  • Your body should stay straight while you perform this exercise, from your knees to your upper body. 
  • If able, hold the bridge pose for a few seconds before lowering back down.
  • Repeat 10 times if able.

Hip abduction

  • Stand up straight.
  • Place your right hand on a chair or wall to keep your balance if needed. Otherwise, you may place both hands on your hips.
  • Next, lift your left leg out to your left side. Do not bend your knee. 
  • Hold your leg out for several seconds if able.
  • Slowly bring it back to standing. 
  • Switch legs and repeat, using your left hand for balance if needed.
  • Complete 5-10 reps on each leg.

Pelvic tilt

  • Lie on the floor with both knees bent.
  • Keep your arm at your sides and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Tighten your lower abdominal muscles, allowing your abdomen to sink inward towards your back.
  • You should only be using your abdomen for this exercise, and your pelvis will naturally tilt.
  • Hold the position for a few seconds. Repeat 10-15 times.

Planking

  • Planking is a fantastic way to strengthen the core. Start with both your hand and knees on the floor.
  • Keep your back straight. It’s important not to let your back cave in or be too rounded. You should look like a table.
  • Raise your left leg straight behind you while you raise your right arm directly in front of you. 
  • Slowly lower your arm and leg back down to the tabletop position. 
  • Next, repeat this motion with your right leg and left arm.
  • Repeat 5-10 times.

Stability Training

Hip arthritis exercises are not limited to strength training. Stability training can be very beneficial for people living with arthritis too. Whether you want your pain to stop, or you want to slow the disease’s progression, stability training can be a great asset to you.

The two most commonly used and recommended stability exercises are tai chi and yoga. Both of these exercises focus on stability training and provide strength and flexibility training as well. Due to their gentle, slow nature, yoga and tai chi may be easier to ease in to for someone new to exercise. Both can lead to reduced stress, released muscular tension, and overall better quality of life.

Mobility Exercises

These exercises can increase flexibility and range-of-motion, helping patients with mobility issues due to hip arthritis. It may help to consult a doctor or physical therapist, who can create a specialized exercise treatment plan for you.

Forward fold

  • Place your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Hinge forward at your hips and reach gently towards the ground.
  • Hold for 5 seconds if possible, and repeat as necessary.

Cobra

  • Lay down on your stomach on the floor.
  • Place your palms face down on the floor beside your chest.
  • Gently push up and bring your chest up off the floor.
  • Hold for 5 seconds or as is comfortable.

Piriformis Stretch

  • Lie on your back and bend both knees.
  • Bring your left ankle on top of your right knee.
  • Using your hands behind your right knee, bring your right leg towards your chest.
  • Hold for 10-20 seconds. Repeat with the opposite leg.

It’s important to note that exercise and stretching should be paired with any necessary lifestyle changes and medications recommended by your doctor. Arthritis pain is best treated holistically. For best results, a combination of treatments may be recommended. If you are struggling in pain and need help, call our office today at (480) 986-7246 to schedule an appointment.

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