How to care for your hips today to keep moving tomorrow
Just because your hips don’t hurt, it doesn’t mean that you can neglect them. They have to bear the full weight of your body, and they also provide you with an amazing range of motion at the same time. So by taking care of your hips now, you may have more years of pain-free movement in the future.
It’s a good idea to take steps to avoid excessive wear and tear and keep your hips healthy. According Harvard Health, here are some “pre-hab” tips for keeping those hips in shape.
1. Muscles strong to move along
When your muscles are in shape, they are able to hold your hips in the most functional and least painful position. Muscles around joints, like your hips, work in pairs. One muscle in the pair contracts while the opposing muscle relaxes. If one muscle is not doing its job, the other muscle has to work harder, which may result in injury. It’s important to exercise these muscles so they can continue to hold your hip in place and allow for proper movement. Swimming or exercising in warm water is a great way to get in shape. When you’re in the water, 75 percent of your body weight is buoyed up so exercise is low-impact yet very effective. However, simply walking is also good exercise.
2. Beware of the faulty chair
Many jobs require sitting at a desk all day long, which can put stress on your hips and muscles. Be sure to have a chair that provides adequate support and is at the right height for you. Try adjusting your chair, the height of your desk and the placement of your computer screen so that you are not causing unnecessary stress on your hips. If you have to hunch forward, it can cause pain to many parts of your body including your hips. When sitting down, try keeping your chin parallel to the floor; your shoulders, hips, and knees at even heights; and your knees and feet pointing straight ahead suggests Harvard Health.
3. Key to remaining pain free
Having good posture will go a long way to helping preserve your hips. The most common barrier to good posture is a weak core, the name used to describe the muscles in your back, side, pelvis, and buttocks which join together to form a sturdy central link between your upper and lower body. When these muscles become weak, they do not hold the body properly and that puts strain on hips and other body parts. Flexibility is also an issue. Muscles that have become inflexible due to lack of exercise can decrease how far a joint can move in any direction. For example, overly tight, shortened hip muscles tug your upper body forward and disrupt your posture. You can correct your posture with exercise, which will pay off with less pain in the future.
4. Move around to keep hips sound
Staying in one position for a long period of time can put undue strain on your hips. It is best to change positions at least once an hour. If you’re watching television, try getting up and walking around during the commercials. When you are stuck at your computer for hours, take a quick break every hour to simply walk around your desk. Whether you’re kneeling in the garden pulling weeds or standing in the kitchen cooking, you need to periodically change your position to keep muscles flexible and avoid putting too much stress on your hips.
When there is no relief
There are many factors that affect hip pain including a genetic disposition. For many people, the best option for improving quality of life is hip replacement surgery. When considering this option, be sure to also consider a time of recovery at Whitehall of Deerfield’s Elective Orthopedic Pavilion, a luxury destination for post-hospital rehabilitation. Skilled therapists work with guests to regain their ability to return to an active lifestyle. Since no two people have the same set of needs, therapy sessions are conducted one-on-one so that the physical therapists can focus solely on your specific needs and continually encourage you to push forward to reach your personal goals.
Whitehall of Deerfield’s Elective Orthopedic Pavilion features a state-of-the-art orthopedic gym specially designed for those recovering from joint replacement surgery. Guests have access to equipment like the Kinesis® One, a functional training station to improve strength, balance and flexibility as well as an APT restorator bike to help with range of motion. There is also a computerized balance gym for balance and weight bearing testing and training.
At Whitehall of Deerfield’s Elective Orthopedic Pavilion, guests enjoy all-private rooms with luxurious amenities including an iPad lending service, concierge service, daily delivery of Starbucks coffee and newspaper, dozens of cable channels with a 24-hour channel of newly released movies and even valet parking for visitors.
Guests can also enjoy a wide-ranging choice of cuisine from selective menus as well as a variety of dining settings. An on-site ice cream parlor and coffee shop offer fresh baked goods in the mornings and ice cream treats in afternoon as well as gourmet coffee all day long.
The Elective Orthopedic Pavilion at Whitehall of Deerfield offers a free orientation on the third Tuesday of every month where you’ll meet their team of experts and discover what it takes to recover successfully.
To learn more or schedule a tour, visit whitehallofdeerfield.com or call 847-945-4600.