Tips for Easing That Aching Hip

Nov 30, 2011

Long hours of sitting at a desk can take its toll on one or both of your patients’ hip joints, but some simple measures can provide relief.

Long hours of sitting at a desk can take its toll on one or both of your patients’ hip joints, but some simple measures can provide relief. Here are some tips to pass along to your patients:

Exercise. Get up and walk around or stretch frequently during the day. The straight leg raise, hip flexion, and wall slide exercises can help stretch the muscles around the hip socket. You can perform these as follows:

Straight leg raise:
-Lie on your right side.
-Bend your right leg, and rest your left foot on the ground.
-Slowly lift your leg 2 feet off the ground.
-Hold for 5 seconds, then slowly lower your leg.
-Repeat 5 times, then change legs.

Hip flexion:
-Stand up straight.
-Lift your right leg off the floor. Bend it to create a 90° angle at the hip.
-Hold for 5 seconds, then slowly lower your leg.
-Repeat 5 times, then change legs.

Wall slide:
-Stand upright with your back against a wall and feet shoulder width apart.
-Slowly bend your knees, sliding your back down the wall for a count of 5 until your knees are bent at a 45° angle.
-Hold this for 5 seconds.
-Begin straightening your knees for a count of 5, sliding up the wall until you are fully upright with knees straight.
-Repeat 5 times.

Modalities. Ice, applied for 10 to 15 minutes several times daily, can help ease pain. If you find that your hips are especially stiff, you might try warm compresses or a heating pad applied for the same amount of time.

•Stretching. Flex and stretch your hips every day. The best way to do this is to stretch one knee at full length for about 30 seconds. Do this several times for each leg.

Waterworks. Water exercise moves and conditions your limbs and joints, without the added strain of weight bearing. Try swimming laps or taking an aquatic exercise class.

Maintain a healthy weight. Keeping yourself at an ideal weight avoids undue wear and strain on your hips, knees, and ankles.