3 Hip Arthritis Exercises for Relieving Chronic Pain

Arthritis pain affects half of all seniors

Living with arthritis aches and pains significantly decreases an 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 activities they used to enjoy.

Arthritis affects nearly 50% of American adults age 65 years or older. And many seniors develop chronic arthritis pain in their hips.

Typical symptoms include pain, aching, stiffness, and swelling in or around the joints.

One of the most effective ways to reduce these painful symptoms and improve mobility is to exercise and stretch regularly.

We found a helpful free video that demonstrates 2 soothing stretches and 3 simple hip arthritis exercises and explain how they help to relieve painful hips.

 

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Exercise reduces chronic arthritis pain

Bob Schrupp and Brad Heineck are 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: 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.

 

2 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.

  1. 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
  2. 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.

 

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3 top hip arthritis exercises for relieving chronic pain

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 hip arthritis exercises that relieve chronic pain (8 min)

 

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By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: NHS UK

 

This article wasn’t sponsored and doesn’t contain affiliate links. For more information, see How We Make Money.


2 Comments

  • Reply October 15, 2016

    Kacie Best

    It’s VITAL for the person to maintain good posture when doing these exercises. Even the screen shot of the lateral leg lifts shows the man too far away from the chair. One of the toughest things for my elderly mother to do is to stand up straight, even when not exercising. Please don’t further complicate seniors’ tendency to lead with their head and upper body by not pointing out proper alignment when exercising! This chronic, leaning forward position adds to the odds of a face-plant fall when a person is unsteady. I’ve worked as a fitness trainer with the older population, and I’ve seen this happen over and over.

    • Reply October 15, 2016

      Connie Chow

      Thank you Kacie! That’s a great reminder that we should help our older adults remember to maintain good posture while doing these exercises.

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