There are some parts of the body that seem to take much longer to recover, after injury. The hips are one of these parts. The hip is an extremely important bone in the body, as it controls connected muscles, ligaments, and bones. Chronic hip pain can also lead to pain in other parts of the body, especially the lower back, legs, and groin area. If you are dealing with persistent pain in the hips, the following recommendations may be beneficial.
See a specialist when pain persists
You probably visited with your primary physician after the initial injury. Your primary physician may or may not have sent you to a specialist for testing. However, if the pain persists and becomes a chronic part of your life, it is time to seek consultation from a specialist. Putting treatment off for too long can lead to other problems, including osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the number one most common form of arthritis. Sometimes referred to as degenerative joint disease or wear and tear arthritis, this condition most frequently occurs in the hips, knees, and hands.
Do a course of physical therapy
Physical therapy can also be effective in reducing chronic pain and in hip strengthening. Through a series of hip exercises, the therapist works to gain back hip strength. They also work to strengthen surrounding muscles, which allow the hips to fully heal. Physical therapy, if completed early on, can reduce the extent of the damages and can also save you treatment money, in the long run. In a study, total medical costs for low back pain were $2,736.23 lower for patients receiving early physical therapy.
Develop a routine exercise plan at home
If your knee injury is fresh, it might be best to skip this one. Additionally, it is always important to get physician approval before beginning any at home exercise plan. If approved, once the hip is starting to get better, you can help the progress with a routine exercise plan at home. This exercise plan will likely include many of the same strengthening exercises that you did with your physical therapist. It should also include working out the surrounding muscles to take further strain off of the hips. During your exercise routine, however, it is important to be cognitive of any excessive pain. If pain persists, stop, and schedule an appointment with your physician.
Use hot and cold therapy
Hot and cold therapy is also helpful for promoting healing. The heat will reduce pain and the cold packs will reduce inflammation. You can request exact times for each type from your physical therapist. However, it is important to rotate between hot and cold. Hot and cold therapy is a cost efficient and easy at home procedure that you can do to reduce pain, especially following a tough physical therapy or home exercise routine.
Focus on improving alignment
Poor alignment can also affect the healing of some parts of the body, especially the hips. This might be something that your physical therapist or specialist looks at. Pay attention to your posture and how you are sitting at work. Pay attention to how you use your hips when you are walking, running, or even standing. If any of these actions are putting extra weight or pain onto your hips, try to correct the posture to reduce the weight and the pain.
Every year, 50% of U.S. adults develop a musculoskeletal injury that persists longer than three months. Immediate treatment is important to prevent osteoarthritis and a worsening of the bone or ligament. If your hip pain does not seem to be getting any better, consider seeing a specialist, doing a round of physical therapy, and working on your posture and alignment. Use hot and cold packs to reduce pain. Follow the directions of your specialist and always be on the lookout for increased pain in the hips.