The body contains many joints that allow you to move around, and the hips are two of the most important. They stabilize the lower body and enable you to walk, climb stairs, and run.
Over time, it’s common to have hip pain and discomfort from conditions like arthritis or normal wear-and-tear — but you don't have to go down that road. Several lifestyle habits allow you to keep your hips strong as you age.
At Alpha Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, Dr. Brian Snow and Dr. Jon Thompson provide tips and tricks to avoid hip pain with age. Dr. Snow and Dr. Thompson are board-certified orthopedic surgeons offering cutting-edge treatments and surgery for various orthopedic problems.
Why are the hips important?
The hip joints are powerful ball and socket joints that form where the head of the femur meets the socket of the pelvic bone.
Your hip joints are two of the largest joints in the body, second only to the knee joints. They provide stability to the upper half of your body and motion to your legs. They allow you to walk, ride a bike, and climb stairs, among other activities.
Although your hip joints are strong, they take on a lot of pressure and wear throughout your lifetime. If you’re not careful, you could end up with permanent damage from various forms of arthritis or injuries.
Hip pain significantly impacts your everyday activities, especially as you age. Stiffness and increasing pain make staying active and maintaining a healthy weight hard.
Five habits for strong hips
The best way to keep your hips strong and healthy through every stage of life is to adopt habits at an early age that maintain joint and bone health. Our team recommends the following five lifestyle tips to stay on top of hip health:
1. Stay active
Exercising regularly and staying active promotes healthy hips by maintaining joint strength and promoting a healthy weight. Inactivity promotes joint stiffness and pain, along with excess weight that increases stress on the joint.
2. Stretch regularly
Stretching is an excellent way to keep your hips mobile. Aim to stretch in the morning when you get out of bed and before exercise or activity. Take your time stretching to ensure you allow your hips to move through their entire range of motion.
3. Watch your weight
Excess weight puts extreme stress and strain on your hip joints, especially as you age. Staying active helps you keep your weight down and allows the hip joints to stay strong and healthy.
4. Choose good shoes
Although it may not seem like it, your shoes and how you walk are significant in hip health. Choosing shoes that provide proper arch support and keep your steps cushioned and comfortable takes the strain off the hips for long-term strength.
5. Avoid high-impact sports
Basketball, running, and volleyball are great sports for fun and exercise but terrible for long-term hip health. As you age, avoiding or limiting these activities is essential to keep strain off the hip joints and prevent pain or injury.
When to call about hip pain
Although taking control of your hip health significantly reduces your chances of pain or other issues, they can still happen. If you notice that you’re having more pain or see other symptoms that concern you, it’s a good idea to get checked.
Various circumstances should prompt you to call our team for a hip evaluation. Signs of a problem include the following:
- Hip pain from an injury
- Inability to stand on your legs
- Difficulty moving your hips
- Joint deformity
- Pain that doesn’t get better
- Trouble walking or getting upstairs
- Signs of an infection
It could signal a dangerous infection if you notice redness, swelling, or warmth around your hip joint. In this case, seek help immediately at an emergency or urgent care facility.
Older adults, especially women after menopause, are at an increased risk for hip fractures. Having hip pain after a fall or injury is a crucial sign to seek treatment and evaluation for a broken hip.
Call one of our offices in Sherman, Prosper, and McKinney, Texas, today to schedule an appointment for hip pain or arthritis. You can also request a consultation on the website.