Hip pain is most common in older adults, and more so in women than men. However, anyone can be affected. If you are experiencing hip pain, you may be unsure what to do next.
Pain can be debilitating, and hip pain specifically can make daily tasks more difficult. So it’s important to have a plan to relieve the pain as quickly as possible. If the pain isn’t serious enough to see a doctor, you want to have things you can do to take care of yourself.
If you are wondering how to ease hip pain, keep reading for some information and tips.
Hip Pain Causes
There are many conditions that can cause pain in the hips. These include:
- Wear and tear
- Bruising or inflammation
- A pinched nerve
If your hip pain is sudden and severe, it could be something serious like a fracture. Be sure to see a doctor immediately if you think there is something serious going on.
You may experience hip pain if you are involved with sports such as running, or if your desk chair or mattress isn’t right for you. If you have mild pain from overuse or normal wear and tear, there are a number of things you can do at home to both strengthen the hip muscles and ease the pain.
How to Ease Hip Pain with the RICE Method
RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This is a great method of pain relief for minor injuries and stressed muscles from activity. If you know you have strained your hip, this is the quickest way to get back on your feet.
Keep weight off of your hip if possible, and avoid direct pressure on the side that hurts, such as laying on that side. Avoid the activities that may have caused the pain. If you’re a runner, put away your running shoes for a few days, or up to a week.
Apply a cold pack to the hip several times a day, for 15 minutes at a time. This can reduce inflammation and help with the pain. Wrap the ice pack in a towel or washcloth to avoid irritating your skin from the direct cold.
You can use compression by wrapping a bandage tightly around the hip area and lower back. They sell compressors designed for hip pain, or you can simply wrap yourself with an Ace bandage.
It’s more difficult to elevate your hip than other joints, but try elevating your legs and feet. This will still take the pressure off of your hips. Simply laying on your back with a few pillows under your knees can do the trick.
Exercises for Hip Pain
Exercise can be a great way to relieve hip pain while strengthening your muscles to prevent future injuries.
If you experience shooting or severe pain during exercise, don’t keep going. Try a lower impact form of exercise and consider contacting your doctor about the pain.
Here are a few low impact exercises that are great for relieving hip pain.
If you’re used to running every day, try slowing down. When you run, every footstep sends a wave of energy up your legs and into your hips, which can quickly cause wear and tear. Walking has many of the same health benefits over time, and it is less hard on your joints.
Exercising in the water can allow you to strengthen your muscles while relieving pressure on your joints. Buoyancy takes your body weight off of the painful hip. You can even simply walk in the shallow end or try a water aerobics class if swimming is not your thing.
If you have access to a stationary bike, this can be one of the best ways to relieve pain and increase your range of motion. Gentle bike pedaling rotates the hips and helps loosen their tightness. If all you have is a regular bike, just be sure to cycle gently and slowly on a flat surface, like a paved bike path.
Bridge pose is easy to do every morning when you wake up to loosen your muscles and relieve tension in your back and hips.
- Lay on your back with your knees bent, and your feet flat on the floor. Your arms should be flat on the floor next to you.
- Press down into the floor with your palms and lift your hips high.
- Hold this pose for thirty seconds, tightening your abdomen and pressing upward with your hips.
- Breathe deeply.
There are many other yoga poses that can help with painful hips. Try a few out and see what works for you.
Change Your Environment
If you work long hours in front of a computer, you are likely not sitting with the correct posture. This commonly causes back and hip pain.
There are ergonomic chairs on the market specifically designed to help relieve pain from sitting all day. If these aren’t in your budget, try switching to sitting on an exercise ball while you work. This will force you to sit up more, push your hips forward, and help tighten your core.
You may also be sleeping on the wrong mattress. To find the best mattress for hip pain, take your sleeping position into consideration. Sleeping on your side is one of the best positions for relieving pressure points on your hips, so look for a mattress that specifically accommodates that.
Live Your Best Pain-Free Life
Hopefully, these tips have helped you learn how to ease hip pain that you may experience from overuse or strain. Keep working on improving your core strength, thigh strength, and hip flexibility to prevent any future injury.
If you are currently experiencing pain, have a speedy recovery! And keep browsing for more answers to your health questions.