The Best Exercises for Arthritis of the Hip

Arthritis, otherwise known as degenerative joint disease, is a medical condition that causes a joint or joints within certain areas of the body to swell, stiffen and become painful. The condition is caused by aging, as the cartilage within joints tends to break down as a person gets older. Arthritis of the hip, or anywhere else in the body, can be classified as mild to severe. For mild arthritis pain, simple exercise is often the recommended activity to alleviate pain. Here are some exercises recommended for those with mild arthritis of the hip.

  1. Water Exercises

    • Water is buoyant and thus reduces pressure on the joints in general. For patients with mild hip arthritis, water exercises are often the best way to alleviate pain through exercise. A patient's swimming regimen can vary depending on what they feel comfortable doing. As with any exercise routine, a physician should be consulted before starting.

      Water walking is a new exercise concept that combines the benefits of swimming with the benefits of walking. The water's buoyancy minimizes weight on the joints to alleviate pain, the same as in swimming. However, walking in the water provides great exercise as well because of the resistance.

      Water is up to 12 times more resistant than air, which enables a person with arthritis in the hip to exercise pain free while simultaneously strengthening the muscles as he would if he were walking. The deeper the water, the harder the exercise on the body. The only drawback to this form of exercise is that swim walking puts no weight on the actual bones, so older individuals may need to make sure that they add exercises that will strengthen bone to the exercise regimen as well to decrease the risk of osteoporosis, or bone loss.

    Biking

    • Cycling is one of the most popular recommendations for patients with arthritis in the hip. Bicycling is a popular form of exercise for patients with hip arthritis for two reasons. First, cycling requires you to sit rather than stand to perform the activity, which alleviates pain on the hip joint. Second, cycling is a low-impact exercise that provides a good workout for the cardiovascular system and the muscles. In addition, bicycling also provides stimulation to the joints in the hip, which can also help relieve the pain caused by arthritis.

    Walking

    • Walking is not a recommended exercise for individuals with arthritis. However, for some it may be the only form of exercise available. If one needs to walk, it is recommended they do so with the assistance of an object such as a cane or a walker. Using these objects alleviates putting all the pressure on the hip joint while walking by allowing the supporting device to absorb the pressure instead, says the Mayo Clinic.

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