Arthritis pain affects half of all seniors
Arthritis affects about 50% of American adults 65 years or older. And 1 in 4 seniors may develop painful hip arthritis by age 85. Symptoms include pain, aching, stiffness, and swelling in or around the joints.
Living with arthritis aches and pains significantly decreases your older adult’s quality of life and can contribute to serious health conditions like obesity and major depression. It can also make them extra cranky and not want to engage in life.
One of the most effective ways to reduce painful symptoms and improve mobility is to exercise and stretch regularly. We found a helpful video with 2 stretches and 3 simple exercises for relieving arthritis pain in hips.
Exercise reduces arthritis pain
Bob and Brad are two physical therapists who demonstrate how to do 2 stretches and 3 simple exercises that are effective at relieving arthritis pain in hips.
The 3 exercises work the hip muscles from three different directions, helping to strengthen and stabilize from all sides to reduce joint stress.
Watch the 8 minute video from the beginning or use our handy guide below to skip to specific exercises.
Important: Doing these exercises shouldn’t hurt. It’s important for your older adult to listen to their body, avoid movements that cause pain, use good form, and only do as much as is comfortable.
Pre-exercise stretches reduce hip pain from arthritis flare-ups
Before getting into the stretches, Bob and Brad share 2 tips for reducing pain from arthritis flare-ups.
- Calm a flare-up by taking pressure off the painful hip(s) — the best way is to temporarily use a cane or walker until the pain and inflammation decreases
- Keep moving — moving a joint affected by arthritis helps keep it lubricated and reduces pain
Stretch 1 (3:23 in video)
Lie down on a flat surface like the floor or a bed with knees up. Keeping shoulders and back down, slowly roll knees from side to side to get some movement going in the hips.
Add some gentle stretching by letting the knees stay on one side and, if it feels good, intensify the stretch by extending the top leg.
Stretch 2 (4:03 in video)
Lie down on a flat surface like the floor or a bed. Put one leg down flat and with the other leg, gently pull the knee toward the chest. Repeat a few times, then do the same on the other side.
Holding the stretch for about 3 seconds is long enough, unless it feels good, then hold for longer if desired.
3 top exercises for relieving arthritis pain in hips
Exercise 1 (5:00 in video)
Stand up and place hands on something sturdy like a non-moving chair or countertop for stability. Keeping the body upright and both legs straight, lift one leg out to the side. Do 10 repetitions with that leg, then switch sides and do the same on the other side.
Be careful to use the hip muscles rather than letting momentum do the work!
Exercise 2 (5:57 in video)
Stand and place hands on something sturdy like a non-moving chair or countertop for stability. Keeping the body upright and both legs straight, lift and extend one leg back behind the body. Do 10 repetitions on that leg, then switch sides and do the same on the other side.
Be careful not to bend the knee and to use the hip muscles rather than letting momentum do the work!
Exercise 3 (6:18 in video)
Stand and place one hand on something sturdy like a non-moving chair or countertop for stability. Make sure the active side of the body has space to move. Keeping the body upright, do a single leg “march” in place. Do 10 repetitions on that leg, then switch sides and do the same on the other side.
Next Step See how to do 3 top exercises to relieve arthritis pain in hips (8 min 12 seconds)
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By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: NHS UK