Hip pain affects thousands of people in the UK often resulting in a hip replacement with over 100,000 procedures carried out in 2015, according to BMI Healthcare. Fortunately, it is one of the most successful orthopaedic operations, but some simple exercises can help to reduce the pain and may even delay or prevent the need for hip replacement.
If you are suffering with hip pain then the first thing to do is to get it diagnosed professionally. The NHS recommends seeing a doctor if:
- – your hip is still painful after one week of resting it at home
- – you also have a fever or rash
- – your hip pain came on suddenly and you have sickle cell anaemia
- – the pain is in both hips and other joints as well
For many, hip pain is caused by weakness in the buttocks and muscles around the hip joint and simple exercises can help to strengthen these muscles to relieve pressure on the joint.
Anyone fortunate enough to have pre-operative exercises given to them will be familiar with side leg raises and after hip surgery, this exercise has to be done with a physiotherapist before you can go home.
Everyone is different; so as long as you have no underlying problems and simply need to strengthen up your muscles, try doing this exercise:
- – Stand with feet hip width apart holding onto the kitchen work surface or a sturdy chair for support
- – Keep your feet facing forward, don’t allow the toes to turn out
- – Soften the knee on the supporting leg then raise the other leg up and out to the side
- – Don’t try to lift too high, then slowly lower the leg back down with control
- – Try to do 5 on each leg at first, then gradually build this up to do 10
- – Stop if it is too painful
It’s a good idea to strengthen the muscles in your buttocks too – your glutes. They are really important for good balance and can often become weak from sitting for long periods at work or home. A really great exercise is the sit-to-stand which simply involves getting up and down from a chair repeatedly. Try doing it for 30 seconds and see how it works your thighs and glutes.
This video shows you how to do side leg raises, sit-to-stands, heel raises and arm raises in the time it takes to boil a kettle. Do it every day when you make a cuppa and you can clock up dozens of repetitions without noticing – try it here!
Remember, if you have any health conditions it’s best to take medical advice before trying any new exercise routine.
Lovely Julie. You're a real inspiration. Very helpful as I'm experiencing hip pain. Thanks.
Can I add don't lean away from the hip you are exercising as it is easy to think you are lifting the hip.