SF: Tips for Reducing Hip Osteoarthritis Pain

Do you have Hip Pain?

I was officially diagnosed with Hip Osteoarthritis about 5 months ago. I say ‘officially’ because I had self-diagnosed and lived with hip pain for over 10 years. So I’m no stranger to the peculiar symptoms of arthritis. Some days my hip has a low ache and some day’s I seem fine and when walking it sometimes ‘catches’ and I feel like I’m losing my ability to stand up – and I can be perfectly pain-free that day. Or I’m not feeling any hip pain but when I walk it begins to hurt, so I shift my foot a little to the right or left and then it’s OK.

So my hip has become unreliable and I simply didn’t trust it. My friends were noticing that I was showing that hip favoritism and I was truly perplexed on how they knew I was in pain as I was trying very hard to walk normally. And I hear the same stories from others with Arthritis that say ‘yeah me too’, so I’m thinking this is what we live with when we have the big ‘A’.


Please note, these are my experiences and you must always check with your doctor before attempting exercises for treatment. Arthritis can be painful enough, you certainly don’t want to add to that misery. My biggest regret was not getting properly diagnosed early on. Your doctor can recommend the best course of action for you.


My Self-Diagnosis and Terrible Self-Remedy

(my mistakes)

I admit I am quite stubborn and instead of getting the cause of my hip pain diagnosed by a doctor, I did the foolish thing and self-diagnosed. I basically did all the wrong things.

First, since I started exercising about 2 years ago, the pain has been greatly reduced. Since  I was no longer waking up in pain, that was a big accomplishment. So, I knew that exercise was a big help, but I still didn’t know what the problem was. Then I started reading about people who sat at their desk for hours without getting up and they suffered from tight hip flexors. I convinced myself that was my problem. So I researched Tight Hip Flexors, found some exercises and started doing them diligently.

I shared what I learned in an article about Hip Flexors – Exercises for Tight Hip Flexors

Tight Hip Flexors weren’t weren’t the cause of my hip pain…

Not seeing any improvement when focused on those flexors, I moved to my second theory. I reexamined my pain and come up with a new diagnosis.

I had heard that as we age we need to strengthen our bones. People that I spoke with said that jumping builds strength in bones so I started doing research on how to do this. I bought a jump rope and started doing jumping jacks and jumping rope. That didn’t help but I couldn’t figure out if it was because I couldn’t jump for very long, so I worked harder at it. I figured that strengthening bones takes awhile. Now, keep in mind that with the other exercises I was doing, the pain wasn’t getting worse, but it wasn’t getting better either. Ok, maybe it did get a ‘little’ worse, but in my defense, as I mentioned above, the symptoms of the big ‘A’ are unpredictable.

I shared what I learned in my article about Jump Rope –  Jump for your Heart.

Now don’t get me wrong, Jumping Rope and Exercising Hip Flexors are great exercises – jumping jacks too, but just not if you have Arthritis. And that’s one of the many reasons why, if you are in pain, you should see your doctor for a proper diagnosis.

My ‘Real’ Diagnosis and Some Much-Needed Help for my Hip Pain

Finally, at my husband’s insistence, I saw my doctor. The doctor ordered an MRI and we reviewed the results together. Yes, I had Osteoarthritis of the Hip. I felt both disappointed and relieved. I was disappointed that I had Arthritis but at the same time I was relieved that I finally knew what was causing my hip pain.

So when my Doctor and I were discussing what to do I asked him about the jump rope (I was sure he would say – ‘YES! Strengthen those bones!”. But he didn’t say that, his eyes opened wide and he shook his head, just a little and said “that would be unwise”.

Against Doctors Advice for Hip Pain
When I told my Doctor what I was doing I’m pretty sure I heard him gasp!

Ok, now I had hope, because as bad as the diagnosis was, being able to research and study more about what exercises can help has been a blessing.  I also learned about what not to do – and jumping is the first on my list. I also found some things that seem to ease the pain and symptoms for me that I want to share.

Fight Back – Learn more

Armed with a my Doctor’s exercise for Hip Arthritis, I started doing more research. The best advice was actually that one exercise he gave me to work my leg (print it here -> Hip Abduction) and to not use force on that hip.

I go to the gym early on the weekend and worked out on an Elliptical for 30 minutes, but found that didn’t help. Then I thought about that Hip Abduction exercise and when I saw the 2 Lateral Elliptical machines, I figured it was similar movement, so I gave it a try.

So, I set the machine (for me it has to be the Lateral Elliptical) for my age, weight and interval on the lowest setting, then go at it for 30 minutes – below is the picture of how you move your legs. You basically glide from side to side. I do the interval set 2 minutes on level 2, then 2 minutes on level 1 – when level 2 comes on, I try to go as fast as I can so I’m getting a good workout.

 

Try a Lateral Elliptical Machine

My Lateral Elliptical Machine workout for hip pain
Tap image to see Lateral Elliptical equipment on Amazon!
Try Octane Fitness Lateral Elliptical
Side-to-Side Gliding on a Lateral Elliptical machine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I highly recommend this machine. I do these exercises early Sunday morning (you can see from the picture how empty the gym is then) and did them for about 4 weeks when for various reasons I skipped a few weeks. My hip started to hurt again and my first Sunday back for that 30 minutes was great for me. I was so happy not to be in pain again.

A few things I do that seem to help me

(*be sure to discuss with your doctor before trying them*):

1. Lateral Elliptical once a week for 30 minutes (2 minute cool down on machine)
2. Exercise 3-5 times weekly for 30 minutes (plus 5 minute warm-up and cool down)
3. I take glucosimine chondroitin (I like the one you take once a day)
4. While Sleeping:
When I get up from or go to bed I lie flat for a minute or so to adjust my hip bone.
I keep my legs straight while sleeping, I try not to bending my knees.
5. I don’t do anything that will impact my hip – no running or jumping – if for some reason I lose my balance and feel a twinge in my hip, if I feel that it’s become inflamed, I take an Aleve for the pain.

“As far as anti-inflammatories go, two good alternatives to NSAIDS are turmeric and boswellia. Great science behind both without the secondary side effects experienced by many people using NSAIDS on a regular basis.”)

∼ Doctor Jonathan

While I am still living with Arthritis, I know what I need to do and that’s to stay active. If you have Arthritis, or a loved one, please talk with your doctor about ways you can stay active too!

Do you have Hip Pain?  How do you cope with it? 
We hope you found this article helpful – thank you for visiting with us today. Wishing you the best of health!

PS. Browse Amazon for Lateral Elliptical equipment – they will arrange for assembly and if you ever have problems, you can count on their customer service to help! They are amazing!

 Try Workout music to keep your energy level up and the time will fly by…

Lateral Elliptical Equipment from Amazon for your consideration…

I can’t stay on a regular elliptical machine for very long with my osteoarthritis before it starts to hurt. But, I can workout for 30 – 40 minutes on the lateral elliptical machine. I do this routine and have been trying HIIT every Sunday. If you have hip arthritis, you may want to see what your doctor thinks of the lateral. I’m fortunate enough to have one at my gym, but in case you don’t, try one of these from Amazon.

Or try a renewed trainer…


And don’t forget the music and enjoy!

Try the Hi NRG fitness music from the 90’s or 00’s…





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Author: Joan E Wilder

We provide information and motivation focused on the importance of physical activity to our quality of life. It is our hope to help people invest in themselves by staying active throughout their lives. It's that important.

6 thoughts

  1. Your concept for dealing with hip “pain”/arthritis had several viable points. Flexibility (accomplished through regular stretching) is an important component. Combining wt. bearing exercises (with limited to no impact) and non wt. bearing exercises is important to maintain functional hip movement. Wt. bearing also stimulates osteoblasts (new bone cells) to reduce the chances for bone weakening pathologies (ex. osteopenia or osteoporosis.) As long as it doesn’t produce pain, I also believe limited impact exercises are important for life’s daily functions. I like the idea of limited rope jumping and limited jogging/running. Both activities contribute to functional daily living.

    Finding an appropriate balance of joint use is important. The expression, “if you don’t use it, you lose it” is a true statement for the hip joint. Overusing it causes it to degenerate more rapidly.

    I also like to add swimming to the exercise regimen. This provides buoyancy while applying active range of motion to the hip. The water acts to provide light resistance as well.

    As far as anti-inflammatories go, two good alternatives to NSAIDS are turmeric and boswelia. Great science behind both without the secondary side effects experienced by many people using NSAIDS on a regular basis.

  2. Great article! And it’s interesting to read Doctor Jonathan’s information about swimming too – another great idea to add to the list. The elliptical was always one of my favorite machines at the gym

    1. Thank you for stopping by Pat! I hope this helps you or someone you know. This elliptical is my favorite too – it actually glides from side to side. I don’t seem to do as well on the regular elliptical anymore. It is amazing that after 30 minutes I can get off the machine and my hip actually feels better.
      Yes, we are thrilled that Doctor Jonathan stops by – his comments are always helpful. He also has a website you might find interesting – https://allabouthealthychoices.wordpress.com/.
      Thank you again for stopping by and hope you visit us often!

  3. I liked your self diagnosis and real diagnosis. I got hip arthritis back in 2000. I “self diagnosed” it as piriformis syndrome after learning just enough to be dangerous on the web. My wife finally got me to go to the doc to get my real diagnosis. Biking, and G&C, helped for me. The lateral ellipse looks cool I wish my gym had one back then.
    Mine progressed to needing a full-blown hip replacement 12 years later. I talk about my experience on my blog (www.bionicoldguy.blog).
    Thanks for your interesting story and I wish you best of luck with your hip.

    1. Thanks for sharing your site with us Richard, I recommend it for all hip suffers and I’m interested in following your story – thank you for your efforts to educate us on Bionic Old Guy and sharing your story. I have been diligent about my exercises and finding the ones that aren’t good for us and I know my next step is replacement so I’m very interested in your journey. I’m trying to delay it as much as possible. Wish me luck! And thank you again Richard!

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