My son was so excited the other day when he got a remote control car. He drove that car over everything! He tried to climb the wall which really didn’t go far. Then he got the idea to launch the car off the table thinking it would be a cool stunt like they have on movies. He cleared off the kitchen table and ran the car off the edge. Unfortunately the landing was not as smooth as it was going to be in his mind. His car crashed causing the tires to fly off. He was devastated thinking his car was broken. Thankfully we were able to get the tires back on but I did talk to him about how to take care of his toys.
Over the last 10 - 15 years it has become more common to see younger and younger patients with hip replacements. Their stories are very similar. They started to have mild pain in their hip while sitting too long. Then the pain started to have pain if they walked too long. Eventually they are thinking about their hip all the time. They have gone to the doctor who told them its arthritis. Perhaps they suggested a cortisone shot to help with the pain; but they ultimately tell you that eventually the arthritis will get bad enough that you’ll need a hip replacement.
What are you supposed to think after hearing news like that? News that tells you your hip is just breaking down and your pain will eventually get so bad that you will have to have it replaced.
How are you going to play with your kids, enjoy your ski vacations? your hiking vacations? Forget about walking around Disney World that is just out of the question. Nope now your reality is riding through the grocery store on a scooter until you can get that hip replacement.
Or is that really the only option? Wouldn’t it be nice if you had someone to see that could talk to you about how to help your hip last for another 50 years and not just another 5-10 years?
I have some good news for you. Hips do not wear out or develop arthritis for no reason. I have worked with many people over the years that have started with severe hip pain with sitting, standing, walking and once we have finished our plan they are back to running, hiking and sitting at their computers for work without pain or fear of a looming hip replacement.
How can this be possible? How can I tell you that you can stop your arthritis from getting worse?
In the simplest terms arthritis is inflammation in your joints. And you can control how much inflammation is in your joints...that is how I’m confidently saying you can stop it.
How do you stop inflammation in your joints?
Stay hydrated. When muscle and joint get dehydrated they become more brittle and lose their ability to adapt to stresses. We have bursa pads throughout our body located at high friction points when they get dehydrated joints don’t move as easily causing pain.
Eat Fruits And Veggies: Just daily living and stresses causes inflammation to build up in our bodies. So if you are dealing with arthritis (joint inflammation) you are definitely dealing with inflammation. Fruits and vegetables are nature’s inflammation fighters. Try adding one or two more daily serving of fruits and veggies and see how you feel after a week or two.
Exercise Daily: One of the worst things for our joints is sitting because when we sit then our muscles get weak and stiff. Unfortunately for us we have to sit to work, to drive and for so many other things. This is why it is so important to workout daily. We need to keep our muscles strong. Strong muscles keep our joints stable and reduce the stress of walking ( or recreational activities) by absorbing the impact.
Stretch Daily: Again sitting for large parts of our day causes everything to stiffen up, but nothing gets more stiff than our hips. Stiff hips can lead to early development of hip arthritis and pain. **bonus point stiff hips also adds stress to your lower back which is the cause of many people’s back issues.
See A Physical Therapist: No matter where you are on the continuum of hip pain, (meaning whether you have just started to have pain or you are seriously thinking about having a hip replacement tomorrow) seeing a physical therapist can help you. We are trained to watch how you move and walk, we assess your muscle flexibility and muscle stretch to find the root cause of your hip pain. Finding out why you have pain is the best way to come up with a plan to stop your pain and get you back on to a fully active lifestyle.
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WE HELP ACTIVE ADULTS OVERCOME THEIR ACHES AND PAINS TO GET THEM BACK TO THEIR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES WITHOUT MEDICATION, INJECTIONS OR SURGERIES.
Dr. Molly McDonald