Your hips play a vital role in keeping your body balanced and strong. They also serve as shock absorbers, reducing the risk of injuries and preventing back pain. If you don’t take proper care of them, then you risk developing hip problems later in life. It is important to start taking care of your hips starting from now, so that you can reduce your risk of getting injury or age related hip issues.
Hip Conditions Among Older Adults
Hip problems are more common among older adults. This is because the joints become brittle over time, causing bones to break easily. As you get older, your hips start to wear out faster, too. That means you’re at higher risk of developing osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, as well as fall injuries.
It’s important to note that hip issues often go undiagnosed until much later in life. The good news is that you can reduce your chances of developing these conditions by starting early.
Tips to Reduce Age Related Hip Problems
Exercise is the best way to prevent hip problems. When you exercise, you strengthen muscles throughout your body, including those in your hips. This reduces the risk of developing osteoarthritis later in life. Exercising regularly also lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, both of which lower the risk of developing arthritis. Choosing low impact sports and maintaining a healthy body weight also helps.
Practising proper posture when sitting, standing and walking can make a world of difference to your joints, including your hips. Body positioning not only lightens the load on your joints, it also reduces wear and tear.
3. Get Up From Your Desk Every Hour
Bound to your desk for work? To avoid stiffness in your hips, try taking frequent breaks from your desk instead of sitting still all day long. Stretch your legs while standing up and move around the room. Standing up and moving around keeps your joints lubricated and prevents muscle cramps. Also, try not to sit down right away after getting up from a chair. Instead, give yourself about 30 seconds before you go back to work. This gives your body time to adjust to being upright again.
4. Use the Right Chair
A good ergonomic chair can really improve your posture and decrease the chance of developing hip problems and injuries. Choose a chair that supports and aligns your spine, hips and neck properly.
Hip Sports Injuries
Hip injuries are common sports injuries. They usually occur during running or jumping activities, as well as cycling, swimming, golfing and baseball. Hip pain can also stem from other causes such as bursitis, muscle strain, and tendon injury. If left untreated, hip injuries can become chronic and cause long term problems.
The hips are the largest joint in the body. They consist of bones, ligaments, muscles, tendons, cartilage, blood vessels, nerves, and fat tissue. Depending on the sport and nature of injury, various parts of the hip may be injured. Runners, for example, experience some form of hip injury at least once in their athletic pursuits. Most runners suffer from minor strains and sprains of the hip flexor and adductor muscles. These soft tissues attach the thigh bone to the pelvis.
Tips to Prevent Hip Sports Injuries
1. Proper Warm-Up
Before any physical activity, it is best to properly warm up the muscles to prevent injuries to the hip joint and surrounding area. To warm up the hips, perform some dynamic stretches followed by slow walking or jogging.
2. Avoid Sudden Changes in Speed and Direction
When engaging in sports activities, avoid sudden changes in speed and/or direction to prevent hip injuries. Instead move at a steady pace, give yourself adequate time to turn and land softly when performing jumps. Keep your knees slightly bent while running or jumping. Running with straight legs puts extra pressure on your hips and may cause injury.
3. Use Proper Footwear
Make sure to wear proper footwear that fit well and provide adequate cushioning and stability. Performing sports activities barefoot should be avoided as it has a great impact on the hips and other joints.
4. Warm Up Before Exercising
Warm up your body before exercising by starting slowly and gradually increasing intensity over time. This helps your body ease in the activity with more agility. You should also stretch after exercise as it reduces muscle tension and increases flexibility over time.
5. Rest After Strenuous Workouts
To reduce the risk of hip and other injuries, rest your body thoroughly after intense workouts. Take breaks between sets and don’t push yourself too hard.
Get Help From A Trusted Orthopaedic Specialist
Start prevention care as soon as you can in your daily life. However, you will still need to visit an orthopaedic clinic if you encounter any hip problems or injuries. Dr Gowreeson Thevendran is an experienced orthopaedic surgeon in Singapore with a specialist interest and surgical expertise in lower limb conditions. He is well-versed in hip replacement surgery, as well as other treatments for hip problems. Book an appointment with OrthofootMD today to learn more about prevention, treatment and surgical options.