Who here wants to live a pain-free life?
Ok, this admittedly feels like a no-brainer! When we don’t have to worry about unnecessary aches and pains, participating in the activities that make us happiest is more enjoyable. Hiking, running, going for walks with friends and family...these things are all more fun if you’re not constantly worrying about flaring up an old injury.
The truth is that as we age, we need to be better about taking care of our bodies before anything bad or painful pops up. Of course, it’s always better to be proactive about addressing potential issues than reactive— that means eating a healthy diet, getting ample exercise, and paying attention to potential problem areas in our body.
Our hips are one of the most highly-used joints. They are in action from the minute our feet hit the ground in the morning until we’re back in bed for the night. We learn to rely on them without even thinking twice! It’s very easy for hip pain and discomfort to creep up and once it settles in, it can prove to be difficult to eliminate. Our best recommendation: choose to get ahead of hip pain with these simple, at-home methods.
The Common Culprit of Hip Pain
Who here works at a desk for long hours? While desk work is completely normal in our computer-based world, remaining in a sedentary sitting position for long periods makes your body tight, which can wreak havoc on your hips and lower body over time. The hardest part? This happens ever-so-gradually. It’s usually not a sudden injury that gives you pain; rather, hip pain and weakness compound over days, weeks, months, and years. To prevent lower body pain and dysfunction, it’s best to start proactive measures as early as you can.
At-Home Exercises To Prevent Hip Pain
Good news! There are basic movement patterns that can help keep your hips in good health, and, they can all be performed at home with minimal extra equipment. The biggest investment is committing to regular activity, but trust us, it’s a worthy endeavor! The chronic tightness that can creep into our hips from everyday life is what leads many to injury. These exercises and gentle stretches work to alleviate that tightness and keep your hips operating the way your body intended. The trick to these movements? Staying consistent.
The Knee Lift – To perform this exercise, lie on your back. Engage your core muscles to flatten your back against the floor, and slowly bring one knee up toward your chest. Hug your knee until you feel a gentle stretch, hold for 2-3 seconds, and release the leg back toward the floor. Repeat these exercises 5-10 times with each leg.
Double Hip Rotation – For this exercise, lie on your back. Again, engage your core muscles to flatten your back against the floor and bend both knees until your feet lie flat on the floor. Arrange your arms out to your sides, and gently drop both knees to one side. Hold this position for 15-20 seconds, and then return the knees to neutral. Repeat on each side up to 5 times.
Hip Extension – Begin this exercise in a standing position, in front of a chair or hip-level countertop. Keeping one leg rooted on the ground, lift your other leg back without bending the knee. Lift it until you feel the natural end range-of-motion, hold for several seconds while squeezing your glute, and release back down. Repeat this stretch 5-10 times on each leg. If you want to make this exercise a bit more difficult, you can use a resistance band around your ankles to increase some light resistance.
Mini Squat – This exercise begins with both feet rooted on the ground, standing a touch wider than shoulder-width apart. Keep your back straight, engage your core, and bend both knees to slowly lower your body to a small squat. Hold for 2-3 seconds and raise back up. Repeat this exercise 6-12 times.
These exercises may seem simple, but they help to work the hip in several different ranges of motion. When done consistently, these movements can keep the joint operating as it should, pain-free.
How Can Chiropractic Help Prevent Hip Pain?
Incorporating consistent chiropractic into your routine is a great way to stay on top of preventative health. The gentle adjustments of the spine and extremities that your chiropractor may perform can help to alleviate pressure in your joints, decrease inflammation, and allow your entire body to function optimally. That’s a huge win in preventative health!
Though chiropractic can also be very beneficial to acute injuries, having this continual care already in place could help decrease your chances of major, long-term injury. Through consistent check-ins, your doctor will be able to assess any changes from appointment-to-appointment and also potentially catch any major problems before they reach a more difficult level. Additionally, your practitioner may also recommend appropriate at-home exercises specific to your history to perform outside of the office. These simple exercises can go a long way in staying a step ahead of any potential injuries.
Get on top of your health now; schedule an appointment online or call (949) 380-8883.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for in-person advice or care from a medical professional.