The Causes of Hip Pain and How to Treat it at Home
Hip pain is a common problem, especially for older adults. The hip joint is a “ball-and-socket” joint that allows the leg to move in many directions.
This type of joint is very stable but also susceptible to wear and tear over time. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the different causes of hip pain and how exercises and stretches can help to treat it at home.
Common Causes of Hip Pain
There are many different causes of hip pain, from arthritis to bursitis to tendinitis. Oftentimes, the pain is caused by a combination of factors. Here are some of the most common causes of hip pain:
- Arthritis: Arthritis is a general term for inflammation of the joints. There are many different types of arthritis, but osteoarthritis is the most common form among older adults. Osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of the bones breaks down over time. This can lead to pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints.
- Bursitis: Bursitis is an inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that cushion and lubricate the joints. The most common type of bursitis affects the hip joint. Bursitis can be caused by repetitive movements or sustained pressure on the joints. It can also be a result of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis or gout.
- Tendinitis: Tendinitis is an inflammation of the tendons, which are the thick cords of tissue that attach muscles to bones. The most common type of tendinitis affecting the hip joint is called greater trochanteric tendinitis. This condition is caused by repetitive motions or overuse of the muscles and tendons around the hip joint. It can also be caused by direct trauma to the area or by underlying medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout.
Treating Hip Pain at Home
There are many different ways to treat hip pain at home. Some simple home remedies include rest, ice, and heat therapy. You can also try gentle stretches and exercises to help ease pain and improve range of motion in the joints.
Treating Hip Pain at Home (for Seniors)
Hip pain is a common problem for seniors, but there are ways to treat it at home. Here are some tips:
- Ice the affected area for 15 minutes at a time. Do this several times per day.
- Take over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
- Apply heat to the affected area for 20 minutes at a time. Do this several times per day.
- Try wearing a hip support brace to help stabilise the joint and reduce pain.
- Perform gentle stretches and range-of-motion exercises for the hip joint.
- Avoid activities that put excessive stress on the hip joint, such as running or high-impact aerobics.
- If home treatment does not provide relief, consult a doctor for additional treatment options.
Easy Exercises for Hips to Prevent Wear and Tear (for Seniors)
Yes, exercises help and are oftentimes regarded as a neglected form of therapy. They have no side effects and tend to improve our overall wellbeing, as well.
Here are gentle hip exercises for everyone, and seniors included.
- Heel slides: Sit on the edge of a chair with your feet flat on the floor and a small towel rolled up under the affected hip. Slowly slide your heel forward until you feel a stretch in your hips and buttocks. Hold for 30 seconds and then slide your heel back to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
- Leg lifts: Lie on your back on the floor with a small towel rolled up under the affected hip. Slowly lift your leg straight up in the air, keeping your knee straight. Hold for 30 seconds and then lower your leg back to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
- Mini squats: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips. Slowly lower your body into a squatting position, keeping your knees behind your toes. Hold for 30 seconds and then stand back up. Repeat 10 times.
- Wall sits: Lean your back against a wall with your feet shoulder-width apart and about two feet in front of you. Slowly slide your body down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold for 30 seconds and then slide back up the wall to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
- Hip abduction: Lie on your side on the floor with a small towel rolled up under your top hip. Keeping your bottom leg straight, slowly lift your top leg up in the air as high as you can. Hold for 30 seconds and then lower your leg back to the starting position. Repeat 10 times and then switch sides and repeat with the other leg.
If you have hip pain, these exercises may help reduce your symptoms and improve your mobility. Consult a doctor before beginning any new exercise program.
Living with hip pain can be difficult, but there are many things you can do at home to ease discomfort and improve your quality of life.
Be sure to consult with a doctor or physical therapist before starting any new treatments, as they will be able to advise you on which exercises and stretches are best for your particular situation. With a little care and patience, you’ll soon be on your way to feeling better!