Around five years ago, I noticed that I always had pain in my right hip. Some days it was worse than others, but it really never went away. I started seeing a chiropractor, and she would adjust and work on it but the pain was still there. Finally, I was sent to get x-rays on the hip to find out what the real problem was. The x-ray showed what she had already suspected, I have arthritis in my right hip and there really isn’t much we can do for it, unless I want to do something drastic, like take a bunch of pills to cover the pain or have surgery (NO THANKS, not now!).
There are some things that I can do to manage the discomfort that I have on a daily basis. I’ve removed gluten from my diet and continue to lose weight and exercise. Getting into a healthy weight range is probably the most important thing I can do to help my overall health and help reduce the arthritis pain I experience in my hip.
6 Ways to Help Alleviate Arthritis Pain
- Stretching is the most important thing to do to help with flexibility and reduce pain in the joints. Stretching for just five minutes a day can make a huge difference in the pain and increase your range of motion. (It’s also the thing I am most negligent with doing!)
- Walking is the best and most accessible exercise that people with arthritis can do. (I am so glad I have always loved walking! I am still able to walk the Komen 3-Day every year, even with the arthritis pain – I just have to know when to slow my pace a little, and when to stretch!
- Yoga and slow-moving controlled actions like Tai Chi are great for not only reducing stress but working on the range of motion that is usually lost with arthritis. (I just started doing some yoga so I’m looking forward to seeing how it helps my hip joints.)
- Water aerobics or swimming are perfect for people who have joint problems. Warm water helps reduce stiffness, and it also helps take pressure off the joints and allows you to be able to do exercises you may not be able to do while on the ground. (I love doing water aerobics and do them in the summer at the local rec center, at least once a week.)
- Riding a bike is a great exercise for people with arthritis. It’s easy on the joints and relieves stiffness! You can ride a stationary bike or go biking outside. Both are simple and can be fun! (I love biking in the great outdoors, but it can be tricky when you live in a big metropolitan area like I do, so I ride mostly at the gym which is sometimes boring but if I bring some good music I can just pedal and zone out which is a nice way to get some good exercise!)
- Weight training is always a good idea for most everyone, but when you have arthritis it is a key component to staying healthy and strong. But, it’s also dangerous if you don’t do it with correct form. If you don’t know what you are doing, talk to a trainer who is familiar with arthritis and how to train someone who has it. (Oy…I love to hate weight training, but realize it’s so important especially as I get older!!)
Listen to your body! Push yourself but not to the point of injury and get medical help, if you need it!
Living with arthritis may not be fun, but it isn’t a death sentence. You can still live a healthy, happy lifestyle.