The hip joint is a complicated part of the body that is forced to undergo a great deal of strain throughout your lifetime. In the simplest terms, the hip is a ball and socket joint that is supported by various muscles and cushioned and lubricated by synovial fluid. With age, the muscles often weaken and the fluid decreases, leading to pain and reduced range of movement. Very often, the recommended medical treatment for this kind of condition is a total hip replacement surgery, but this expensive and risky procedure has many down-sides. Consider these 5 tips for avoiding hip replacement.
- Ride a Bike
Easy paced cycling is one of the best activities for maintaining healthy hip joints throughout life. This is not to say that you should go out sprinting across town or attacking hills like some crazed Tour de France rider, but rather go for a bit of recreational riding at a mellow speed several times a week. This is a low impact exercise that will encourage a healthy range of motion in the hips while keeping your overall health in the green.
- Take the Stairs
Whenever it is convenient for you, take the stairs rather than the elevator. Take it slowly–this isn’t meant to be an intense cardiovascular exercise. Much like riding a bike, walking up and down stairs gives your hips an easy and neutral movement to stabilize the hip joints and reduce degradation. This will also help to keep active the muscles around the hips, keeping them supported and thereby reducing unnecessary strain. As an added benefit, you won’t have to breathe stuffy elevator air anymore.
- No Smoking, Less Drinking
To be unaware of the many health risks associated with smoking and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, you must have been living under a rock in a cave at the bottom of the ocean with your hands over your ears for the past few decades. In addition to lung, liver, and heart problems that can arise from these habits, smoking and drinking deplete the bones of calcium and other nutrients that are necessary to repair the damage of regular wear and tear on your bones and joints.
- Look at Your Shoes
Much of the strain that is put on the hips comes from the impact of standing, walking, and running that travels up your legs from the soles of your feet. Invest in good comfortable shoes with thick soles and soft inserts. This will act much like the suspension on your car, reducing shock as you go through your day. The strain put on your hips will be greatly reduced, and your joints will stay healthier longer.
- Consider Alternatives
If your hip pain becomes too much too bear, don’t resign yourself to a total hip replacement surgery just yet. There have been several recent cases of hip replacement recall in medical malpractice suits; check websites like www.consumerinjurylawyers.com for more information. There are now several alternatives to total hip replacement that are safer and less invasive. Ask your doctor about all possible forms of treatment.