How to keep your hips healthy 22



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Hip pain might be a common problem past 60 – especially among women – but it’s far from inevitable. Even if it’s something you do experience, chances are there are very effective ways to prevent and work around it without keeping you from the things you love.

Here are some of the best lifestyle choices that could reduce your risk of long-term hip issues.

Already experiencing pain? See a doctor immediately.
If you’re feeling discomfort, even something minor, your body is telling you a vital message: “something isn’t right”.

Hip pain can have any number of causes: from unseen fractures to inflammation; from long-term medical conditions to minor, treatable inconveniences. The cause might not be obvious – even foot or gynaecological issues can be to blame. Don’t wait for the discomfort to pass; the sooner you can identify what’s wrong, the more confidently and effectively you’ll be able to fight it.

Try some basic hip exercises.
These can be performed easily and in a few spare minutes at home. About Health suggests the following as an ideal starting point. Note that if you have existing hip paints, it’s ultimately best to see a physiotherapist; they’ll be able to cater your exercises to your exact needs.

  • Straight leg raises: lie on your back, keeping one leg straight and the other with a bent knee. Lift the straight leg about 30 centimetres off the ground, keeping it as straight as you can, and hold for 2 seconds, then slowly lower it back down. Repeat 10 times.
  • Side leg raises: Lie down on one side, bending your leg closest to the floor. Slowly raise your top leg, keeping it straight. Hold for two seconds. Repeat 10 times.
  • Hip squeezes: Lie on your back with both knees bent. Place a small ball or pillow in between your knees and squeeze. Hold for 5 seconds, then relax. Repeat 10 times.

Eat oily fish more regularly.
Inflammation is a common cause of hip pain. Omega-3 acids are particularly important in helping prevent this. Not only do they help lubricate the hip joints; they also support the muscles, which in turn takes pressure away from the joints themselves.

Very few of us actually get enough of this ingredient. Simply eat oily fish a little more regularly (without overdoing it) to address this imbalance.

Pay more frequent visits to your swimming pool.
Whether you prefer swimming or aqua aerobics, water is one of the best places you can get your workout. It will efficiently build up your most important muscles while giving your joints a well-deserved rest from stress and pressure.

Exercise smarter, not harder.
Don’t overdo it. Warm up your body before every exercise; stretch thoroughly afterwards and take the time you need to cool down. Look after your body in the process with proper clothing and shoes. Properly-fitting sports shoes can make a world of difference, as can avoiding running on hard surfaces if possible.

Maintain a healthy weight.
If only it were as easy to do in reality as it is to say here. Unfortunately, like it or not, weight can play a major role in healthy hips. The greater the weight, the bigger the strain.

Look after your bone health.
Another very common cause of hip pain among women is arthritis – particularly through osteoporosis. This condition – the weakening of bone strength over time – is startlingly common condition among Australians over 60. If left unchecked, it can massively increase the likelihood of unexpected fractures to the hips.

Thankfully, there are many relatively easy ways to keep your bones strong: a healthy amount of sun exposure, a small amount of simple-to-maintain exercises, and four servings of dairy food per day. For more information, please see Starts at 60’s guide on how to keep your bones healthy.

Have you had to deal with hip pain? What have you done to work around it?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. mmmm or just have them replaced

    4 REPLY
    • Disagree entirely, both of my hips have been replaced while I was still in my 50’s. I’m now 60. Get a good surgeon who uses a new technique and do the rehab. It’s a breeze! It’s silly just to battle on. I got my 2nd one replaced way before it was tooooooo bad, best thing I did. Now I’m back to walking for hours on end and travelling.

  2. Deborah, when the pain gets bad, you can’t walk a couple of hundred yards, let alone miles. I just had a cortisone injection into the joint that has given me instant relief but is not expected to last more than a few months. After that…surgery.

    2 REPLY
    • Carol, having my hip replaced was the best thing I ever did compared to the knee. I wouldn’t hesitate if I ever need the other one done.

    • I have had cortisone injected several times over several years and usually the relief lasts for 6 to 12 months, sometimes longer

  3. Asian people dont have this trouble
    A physio guy told us at work to squat like asians do it 5 times a day
    This way you use the hole hip joint motion
    Also Asian eat little meat and dairy
    Mainly they live on rice and vegies
    A more healthy diet

    1 REPLY
  4. I am 68 & 8 years ago I was almost crippled & a friend suggested I take CAA tablets from Health House New Zealand (which I am still taking) & I started walking & now quite fit I have just shoveled 5 Tons of pebbles onto my gardens
    I try & walk 10,000 steps most days & have a good diet

  5. I had very bad arthritis in my hip for 18 months and pretending it didn’t exist took more and more painkillers. I felt old and miserable. Eventually I told my doctor and three months later had a fabulous new hip. I haven’t looked back!! I’m active, cheerful and ready to take on the world feeling at least 10 years younger!!

  6. I had one of mine replaced and a knee as well. Just had back surgery. Ageing “sucks”

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