Hip pain is a health problem that can affect anyone at any age, although it tends to be more common in older people. There are many possible causes of hip pain, but it is usually triggered by osteoarthritis – a common type of arthritis. However, it can also be caused by a fracture or hamstring injury, a tear in the cartilage, hip dysplasia or an infection in the bone or joint. Symptoms can include soreness and stiffness, and you may also experience a more limited range of movements that make everyday activities like walking up the stairs more difficult. While there is not always a cure, there are certain things you can do to reduce symptoms without the need for surgery. If you are looking for ways to combat hip pain, this simple guide should help.
When should I see a GP?
In many cases, hip pain subsides over time without the need for medical assistance. However, there are certain instances where you should contact your GP. For example, if the pain lasts for longer than one week despite resting the joint, if you feel feverish, have a rash or if you notice swelling or warmth around the joint, you may need to book an appointment with your doctor. You should also seek medical advice if the pain started suddenly or you feel discomfort in both hips or in other areas of your body. If it was caused by a serious accident or you are unable to move your hip or put weight on your leg, you will need to go to hospital immediately.
Bear in mind that surgical procedures will only usually be considered as a last resort if the problem is severe or if other treatments and home remedies have been unsuccessful.
Unless these exceptions apply to you, you should be able to control and manage the pain at home with self-help treatments. For example, slimming down if you are overweight can take some of the pressure off your hip and ease discomfort. You should also try to avoid activities that can make the pain worse, such as running on uneven terrain, wearing heeled shoes or standing for long periods of time. Hip troubles caused by osteoarthritis or muscle or tendon strain can usually be treated with over the counter painkillers, such as paracetamol. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, can also be taken to reduce inflammation and pain.
Using hot and cold therapy can also be effective at relieving pain. Applying ice wrapped in a towel to the affected area for around 15 minutes a few times a day can reduce inflammation around the joint. Similarly, applying heat using a hot water bottle or by taking a warm shower or bath can help. However, heat should not be used if there is any swelling or inflammation as it can make the problem worse.
Exercise is one the best things you can do to maintain mobility, strengthen the muscles surrounding the joint and prevent injury. However, some precautions will need to be taken, especially if your hip problem is related to overactivity. For example, always stretch your muscles before and after exercising and try to avoid activities that will aggravate the condition, such as running. Instead, stick to low impact physical activity that will not put stress on the joint, such as swimming or cycling. Having well-fitting sports shoes and wearing shoe inserts can also help.
In addition, bear in mind that while exercise can be beneficial, it is equally important to rest, especially in the initial stages of recovery. If you develop pain in your hip, try to rest as much as possible for a few days until you feel like it has improved. When the soreness and stiffness has subsided, you should then carry on with normal everyday activities and start to exercise on a regular basis. Start slowly with gentle stretching exercises for the legs, hips and back and then build up your activity levels gradually. Being active may hurt initially, but the more you do it the less intense the pain will be over time.
To ensure you don’t do any further damage to your hips while exercising, it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor before you start any new physical activity. They should be able to recommend the most suitable exercises and help you avoid further injury.
You may also benefit from seeing a physiotherapist. These experts will be able to teach you specific exercises that can strengthen and stretch the muscles surrounding your hip to improve flexibility and restore movement. Relaxation therapies such as massage, yoga and breathing exercises have also been proven to be effective when coping with long term pain.
Adjustable beds and riser recliner chairs
If you suffer from sore hips, everyday routines like getting in and out of a chair or going to sleep at night can prove to be a challenge. Our adjustable beds and riser recliner chairs can aid recovery and be used as a long-term treatment for chronic hip pain. These products have been specially designed to help relieve pressure on vulnerable muscles and joints and make everyday life that little bit easier. Our riser recliner chairs and adjustable beds can be adjusted into a number of different positions for maximum comfort and to eliminate the need for any awkward bending or stretching. They also feature our exclusive NHC Cyclo-Therapy massage system, which has been medically proven to alleviate the symptoms of a range of joint and mobility conditions, promote relaxation and improve blood circulation.
Using these products can not only help to lessen everyday pain, but it can also increase your freedom of movement and help you to maintain independence around your home.
By taking advantage of mobility-aiding furniture alongside self-help treatments, you should be able to tackle your hip pain and improve your quality of life. If you want to find out more about how our products can help with joint conditions, browse our website further or get in touch with our friendly and helpful team today.