Here are some common side effects to poor hip functions:
- Pain in hips
- Poor balance and stability
- Knee pain
- Problems with a shortened and uneven gate when walking or running
- Tight, stiff, or shortened muscles
- Limited range of motion in hips, legs, and lower back
- Lower back pain and stiffness
- Misalignment in the lumbar and thoracic spine
- Postural problems
If you currently do not have any hip pain or limited range of motion, it does not mean that you will not be affected by it in the future. Hip and knee replacements are all too common in many people’s lives as they get older, as is arthritis or bursitis of the hips and knees. To help keep your hips healthy and to reduce the odds of having any major hip or knee issues, take action now to maintain healthy hips.
Here are some tips for healthy hips:
- Maintain a healthy weight. The more added weight you carry around, the more work your weight bearing joints have to do and the more difficult it is for them to move in a fluid motion.
- Talk to your nutritionist or doctor to make sure you are consuming enough Calcium, Vitamin D, and Omega-3s in your diet. Make sure you are eating enough foods that are rich in these or take supplements to make sure you are getting the proper amount in your system.
- Receive regular massages and get chiropractic adjustments as needed.
- Do stretches and yoga poses that focus on opening up your hips weekly, if not daily.
- Strengthen the weaker muscles, especially those that pertain to the hips, quads, hamstrings, low back, core, etc.
- Practice proper form and posture when sitting, walking, squatting, deadlifting, or any other weighted movement. Note: If you notice your knees moving inward or outward instead of straight over your ankles, if your heels start to come up as you squat down, if your back starts to curve when you bend forward or when lifting something overhead, STOP before you cause an injury. You will need to work on your range of motion, flexibility, and to strengthen the weakened muscles that are not supporting the proper movements in a safe manner.
Need some guidance on some stretches and exercise to do for healthy hips? Check these two links to get some ideas on what you can do to stretch, strengthen and increase your mobility: