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Pain is the body’s signal that something is wrong and needs attention. While hip pain may be the result of a hip injury, it can just as likely be a precursor to one, as in the case of those with osteoarthritis or bursitis. There are multiple non-invasive methods seniors can use to deal with hip pain in an effort to alleviate it, and/or to avoid further injury. Utilizing these methods can prevent more invasive treatments such as hip replacement surgery.
5 Tips for Seniors who Deal with Hip Pain
It may seem counterintuitive, but exercise can actually relieve pain, and then strengthen bones and joints enough to keep them strong and resistant to further injury. While rest is important when recovering from a hip injury, too much rest can be a bad thing. At the minimum, seniors can use a Theraband to do gentle resistance and motion-oriented exercises that benefit bone density and keep the hip joint from becoming stiff. If you suffer from chronic hip pain, you may find that aquatic exercises, yoga or Tai Chi targeted to seniors can provide both exercise and relief. In addition to exercise, the breathing exercises and emphasis on mental focus required by yoga and Tai Chi have also been shown to help with pain management.
If you haven’t already, discuss over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and pain relievers with your doctor. Sometimes people make the mistake of waiting until the pain is severe before taking medications, in an effort to avoid over-medicating. However, some medications — such as ibuprofen — need to maintain a steady blood level to be effective. Your doctor will know the appropriate medication/dosage to help manage your hip pain.
Once hip pain has become regular, activities that increase joint impact — such as running or jumping — can be detrimental. Work with a physical therapist to find physical activities you can enjoy without putting additional strain and/or impact on joints.
An inflamed joint can become more and more painful over time. By using hot and cold therapy effectively, you can help to increase circulation — which facilitates healing — and decrease inflammation, which can inhibit the body’s healing process.
The way that we walk and move while performing daily activities can have a dramatic effect on our joints. Custom-made orthotic inserts can help to readjust how the foot moves, which makes subtle corrections in bone and muscle movement to support your joints. Not only can orthotics alleviate pain, they can also slow down hip injury related to osteoarthritis.
A common treatment for chronic hip injury is hip replacement surgery. While hip surgery can reduce pain and restore hip function, it can also be accompanied by serious health complications. Rising numbers of manufacturer recalls, such as the recent recall of Stryker’s Rejuvenate hip implant, should be cause for concern for seniors with hip pain. The above methods for managing hip pain are all non-invasive, with very low to no side effects. In many cases, they can prevent, or at least delay, the need for hip replacement surgery.
Elizabeth Carrollton writes about defective medical devices and dangerous drugs for Drugwatch.com.