Exercises for arthritis in the hips



by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit




As with any exercise program, exercises for the patient with hip arthritis should consist of stretching, strengthening, and non-impact aerobic exercise:

Do not do these exercises until you check with your physician or physical therapist.



Stretching:

These exercises make it easier to sit down, put on your shoes and get in and out of a car.

Lie on your back and slowly slide your foot up toward your buttock, bending your hip. Lift your foot and gently bring the knee toward your chest. Make sure your knee is not externally rotated when you do this. It should be brought up straight to the chest. Hold this position for a count of three. Lower your foot and slide your heel back down. Repeat five times on each leg.

If you find it difficult to raise your leg, you can use your hands or you can use a belt or towel to help lift. Be sure to lift behind the thigh and not over the knee.

Lie on your back and bring your knee to your chest. Keep your pelvis flat against the floor and internally rotate your knee inward towards the opposite side of your body and hold it for a 10 second count. You may have to exert a bit of pressure. Do 4 to 5 repetitions.

This is called “thread the needle.” Lie on your back. Cross your right leg on top of the left thigh. Bring your left thigh up towards your chest as high as it will go. Reach down with your right hand through the “hole” created by the bend of your right knee as your leg crosses on top of the left thigh. Reach down with your left hand and clasp the hands together behind the left thigh. Gently pull up on the left thigh and hold for a 10 second count. Repeat 4-5 times each side.



Straight Leg Raise. This exercise strengthens the muscles that bend the hip and straighten the knee. Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat. Straighten one leg. Tighten the muscle on the top of that thigh and straighten the knee as much as possible. Keeping the knee straight, raise your leg one to two feet (about 50 cm) off the ground. Do not arch your back. Hold your leg up and count out loud for ten seconds. Relax. Repeat with the other leg.

Hip Widener. Lie on your back. Spread your legs as far apart as possible. Roll your legs and feet out like a duck and then in like a pigeon.

Back Kick. This exercise increases the backward mobility and strength of your hip. Hold onto a counter for support. Move the leg back and up with the knee straight. Stand tall and do not arch your back.

More stretching- advanced

Pigeon. While on your hands and knees., fold one leg with the knee bent under your chest and allow your body to sink on that bent leg. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat on the other side. Make sure you use a mat.

Frog. While on a mat on your hands and knees, spread your knees as wide as possible. Slowly sink back towards your heels until you feel a stretch in your groin.Slowly move your hips around clockwise, then counterclockwise.

Non-impact aerobic: The hip takes a lot of pounding with weight-bearing aerobic exercise. Consider swimming, a stationary bike, or an elliptical training for cardiovascular workouts.



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