Hip pain has become, sort of, a common health issue not only amongst the older generation, but also the relatively younger lot. There are various causes of hip pain such as osteoarthritis of the hip joint, sciatica nerve impingement, poor posture, obesity, stress fractures and bursitis in the buttocks, groin region or side of the hips.
The best way to deal with hip pain is to strengthen the hip joint and supporting muscles, while also making it more flexible. Here are a few simple and effective exercises that can be performed at the gym or at home for pain relief.
Exercising at the gym is a good option as you have access to all the required machinery to strengthen the hip joint and supporting muscles. Take help from your gym trainers for posture inputs and overall supervision. Make sure you are comfortable with the weights so as to avoid injuries.
-Exercise #1 Quadriceps Squeeze
The leg extension machine at your gym should be used to perform this exercise. Assume a comfortable sitting position and place your legs under the pad. Set the resistance weight as per your comfort level or don't set any weight at all for minimum resistance. Now, straighten your knee against resistance to work on the quadriceps muscles. Perform a minimum of 8-10 repetitions.
- Exercise #2 Squats
The squat machine should be used to perform this exercise. Set comfortable weight or no weight at all for minimum resistance. Position yourself comfortably before starting the set. Bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor for optimum results. Squats should be avoided by replacement surgery patients and those with severe arthritis.
-Exercise #3 Hamstring Squeeze
In most gyms, the leg extension machine is used in a reversed position for working on the hamstring. For this you will have to lie on your stomach and adjust your feet under the pad. Now, push the pad towards your buttocks by bending your knees. Perform a minimum of 8-10 repetitions.
These home exercises can be performed without supervision, but any discomfort while performing them should be reported to your physical therapist.
-Exercise #1 Leg Swings
Stand in an upright position with your one side touching a wall for support. Place your hand on the wall for extra support of need and extend your outer leg sideways till your hip pain permits. Repeat this 8-10 times and then switch position to perform this exercise with the other leg.
-Exercise #2 Knee Lifts
Lie on your back with your legs in a straight position. Now, lift your legs by bending your knee and move it to the opposite shoulder. Gently grab it with both your hands to facilitate the movement. Hold it for 3-5 seconds and the resume neutral position. Repeat with the other knee and shoulder set.
Though total hip replacement surgery is a good treatment option, it lasts only for 15 to 20 years. So, it is a better option to preserve your hip joint for as long as possible by strengthening it with the above exercises.