Did you know that according to Prima Magazine one in four women aged 40-60 suffers from hip pain? Well, I’m over the age 60 bracket and still suffer from hip pain, some of which I think is Fibro related and also my back and posture.
Posture they say is one of the most important things to remember to avoid hip pain. They say that it is a well-known fact that hip pain is age-related and mainly in women which are caused by damage or struggling gluteal tendons, which attach the muscle to the bone. The NHS points out that most cases of hip pain in adults that are treated with surgery are caused by osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis in the UK.
Less commonly, hip pain may be caused by:
- the bones of the hip rubbing together because they’re abnormally shaped (femoroacetabular impingement)
- a tear in the ring of cartilage surrounding the socket of the hip joint (a hip labral tear)
- the hip joint is the wrong shape or the hip socket is not in the correct position to completely cover and support the top of the leg bone (hip dysplasia)
- a hip fracture – this will cause sudden hip pain and is more common in older people with weaker bones
- an infection in the bone or joint, such as septic arthritis or osteomyelitis – see a GP immediately if you have hip pain and fever
- reduced blood flow to the hip joint, causing the bone to break down (osteonecrosis)
- inflammation and swelling of the fluid-filled sac (bursa) over your hip joint (bursitis)
- a hamstring injury
- an inflamed ligament in the thigh, often caused by too much running – this is known as iliotibial band syndrome and is treated with rest (read more about sprains and strains)
Of course, there are things that you can do at home to help with your hip pain including posture which I mentioned above as well as losing weight if necessary, physiotherapy with personally tailored exercises plus changing behavior, in particular, minimizing crossing legs to reduce pressure on hip tendons. This is something I have a terrible habit of doing but I always say its because I am short and do not feel comfortable with my legs just hanging down.
Not smoking is an obvious point as this can impact bone health. A well-balanced diet, six-eight hours sleep if possible, and the right amount of exercise as shown on the NHS Live Well Exercise Website. If you have painful hips you should avoid hills and stairs. Walk with your feet wider and use the handrail when you do go upstairs as this lessens the pressure on your tendons. If lying on your side is painful then place pillows between your knees and ankles to keep hips square or lie on your back with a pillow under your knees. There are a number of cushions supports on the market now perfect for these positions.
They also suggest that sleeping on a memory foam or mattress topper will help as softer bedding lessens the pressure from your hips. And for new Mums looking into the future do not hold your baby on your hip (use a sling or a carrier) as putting all the weight on one hip causes undue stress and means your other hip has to work really hard to support your pelvis. Finally keeping as fit as possible is a must which during the recent Covid-19 Virus it has made it difficult for us all to do what we normally do. On the Prima website, they have 6 at-home exercises you can do without equipment. If you can only manage one of them it is better than none at all, but please remember to take it carefully if you have not done any of these before.