Joint pain has a big impact on our lives, because they affect many of our activities, and in some cases, even all of them. The simplest movements, that we perform many times a day without a thought, suddenly become conscious to us and difficult or even impossible to do. Some joints are more exposed to painful circumstances than others, including injury or fracture, overuse, and wearing, among many others.
The hip is a core joint that supports the weight of our upper body, and takes the impact of lower body activities like running and jumping. Hip pain isn’t uncommon, especially among elderly people, and the negative impact it has in our life can be overwhelming.
There are many causes of hip pain, and not all pain management strategies and therapeutic interventions will work in every case. So you need to know the reason of your pain and then select which remedy is best for you. Here is a list of options for quick hip pain relief.
1. Self massages
This is one of the quickest ways to get rid of hip pain. You can go to a physical therapist and get massages, but you can also perform them yourself at home or any other place. Pay attention to how your hip feels after different directions and intensities of massages, your body will tell you what is the best technique and the best movement for your pain.
Self massages are especially effective for hip pain caused by muscular tension and overstress. Use long movements with your fingertips to stretch the muscular fibers and provide relief to your hip. However, make sure to stop if you experience any discomfort or pain when you massage your hips.
If your joint is inflamed, certain massages could actually make the pain worse. Pay attention to how you feel and you shouldn’t go wrong. Perform your massages when it hurts and also periodically as a preventive method.
2. Hip exercises
Strengthening your muscles can help protect your hip joint and keep the bones in place so they don’t hurt when they get too close to each other. Also, it helps keep the tendons healthy. There are many exercises you can do to work out muscular groups that influence your hip movement and resistance: your buttocks, your tighs, and your abdominals all affect your posture, your weight distribution, and your joint stress.
Hip exercises even help prevent hip joint pain before it happens, so they are a great routine for people at increased risk of hip pain, such as runners and the elderly. Yoga and Pilates are among the best exercise techniques to strengthen your hip muscles and your core. Get a short routine of around 20 minutes and repeat it every day for best results.
Hip exercises can also relieve your pain instantly if a muscular contracture is causing it because you will move the fibers and release strain.
3. Water gym
Swimming and performing pool gymnastics is a great exercise for your hips as well as the rest of your body. What is great about water exercising for people with hip pain is that water helps support our bodies, and therefore reduces the weight on our hips.
If you can’t stand or exercise for long because your joints can’t take your body weight – for example, if you are overweight or have hip wearing – water is a great solution. Swimming will help you regain mobility and strengthen your muscles, but remember to kick gently so you don’t add too much strain to your joint.
Even walking on shallow water is an exercise because water resistance makes your muscles work harder than they do when you walk on land, but still provide better support for your body weight. The movement of water also gives your hips a soft massage that helps relieve the pain.
4. Stop movements that cause you pain
Depending on the condition that is causing you the discomfort, different movements or activities will make your hip hurt more or less. You can’t know the exact cause of your pain until you go to a doctor, but even before that, you can realize what makes you feel better or worse by just observing how your pain behaves with different activities.
In most cases, bending over, jumping and running are among the types of movements that make your pain worse. Whatever the case is, it is advisable that you reduce or, preferably, stop doing that move entirely until your pain is relieved.
The pain might indicate that you are making your injury worse, or just be an inflammatory response, or even be the result of your bones rubbing each other due to joint wearing. Identify your bad movements and stop doing them until your condition is relieved.
Hip stretchings can help your joint pain in some cases. It is especially effective in bursitis, a hip condition that causes the inflammation of the soft tissue that cushions the union between your leg bone and your pelvic bone. Stretching isn’t effective in all cases, but if you try it and it works, or if the doctor has already diagnosed you with bursitis, then you can add a short stretching to your daily routine and it will help you feel much better.
There are plenty of hip stretching exercises online that you can check, and most of them are suitable for all levels of flexibility. Just remember that, if you have hip pain, stretching your leg away from your body isn’t advised because it can overstress the joint. Instead, do stretchings parallel to your body or crossing your legs inwards. These are the best movements for relieving hip pain caused by bursitis and other conditions.
6. Apply ice
In most cases, hip pain is caused, at least partially, by inflammation. And even if inflammation isn’t the main cause, it can be a consequence that intensifies the pain even more. A quick way to relieve your inflammation is to apply cold. Ice packages are very practical and easy to get. There are ice bags you can fill with cubes from your fridge, and you can also try gel packs that you keep in your freezer when you don’t use them.
Apply cold to your hip 10 to 15 minutes at a time – a longer application could damage your skin. Repeat up to 4 times a day for relief of chronic inflammatory pain. Cold treatment works best with primarily inflammatory conditions like bursitis, as well as physical injuries and hip damage due to overuse or wearing of your joint, such as those derived from excessive exercising and athletic activities.
7. Apply heat
Even though cold is often prescribed for inflammatory conditions, pain derived from contracture or tension in your tissues can actually get worse with ice. In this case, heat is recommended instead. If you have a diagnosis for your pain, you can ask for which option is best for you, cold, or heat. However, if you don’t know the cause of your pain yet, you can try both and see which one makes you feel better.
For those who are already diagnosed, arthritis is the condition that best reacts to the application of heat. Applying a hot pack or electric pillow to the source of your pain can make you feel better. Hot baths are also a great way to relieve your hip pain, and the advantage of using hot water is that it has a better distribution around your body. For extra relaxation, add salt to your bath; it will increase your flowability and therefore help your body lose tension.
In many cases, hip pain is caused by the overuse or wearing of your hip joints. They support the weight of your body and also take much of the impact of athletic activities, so the tissue that connects your bones might become damaged, generate an inflammatory response, and cause you pain. One way to relieve the pain caused by overstressing your joints is by giving them a bit of extra help.
There are orthotics that help you support your body, but they are often expensive, uncomfortable, and not very appealing. Instead, using compression can help give extra support to your hip joints, and you can hide the bandages under your clothes.
Make sure to get proper instructions on how to do it, because excessive compression may interfere with your blood circulation and even make your pain worse. Once you know how to do it, though, you can use it every day to help relieve your pain.
Many of us are familiar with the practice of resting our feet or legs in an elevated position. There are several benefits to this practice, including relieving our swelling, promoting venose return, and helping our circulation.
People with circulatory problems and fluid retention are often most relieved by this technique. However, what very few people know is that this posture can actually help relieve your hip pain too. Discomfort caused by swelling or fluid retention around your joint can recede if you rest your hip in an elevated posture. At first glance, this isn’t as easy as just resting a leg on a cushion or a chair, but nonetheless it can be achieved.
Lying down and placing a pillow under your hip or your waist can provide the elevation that you need to help your fluids circulate and your swelling decrease. Try elevating your hip for instant pain relief.
10. Find a good sleeping position
Many postural pains are affected by your sleeping position. When you rest, you spend hours in postures that could be overstretching or putting too much pressure on your joints, bones, muscles, and connective tissue. A bad sleeping position could be the cause of chronic joint pain.
Neck and back pain are among the most common consequences of a bad sleeping position but hip pain can be one too. If you experience hip discomfort daily or often, try improving your sleeping position.
Flip the mattress, or change it if it is too old, and try getting a postural pillow to rest your lower back. Sleeping belly up is often advised as the ideal resting position, but if that’s not the case then sleeping sideways can work for you too. If your pain is too severe you might need a special mattress that provides better support to your spine and pelvis.