Each week, Dr. Mauk shares thoughts relevant to Baby Boomers that are aimed to educate and amuse.
Almost one-fourth (23.9 percent) of seniors between the ages of 60 and 90 suffer from frequent hip pain.
Whether it’s the result of a bad fall or is brought on by a combination of poor mechanics and old age, it’s important for seniors to know that they’re not doomed to suffer from hip pain for the rest of their lives.
Read on to learn some simple tips to help seniors combat hip pain.
1. Do Hip Bridges
A hip bridge is one of the best exercises you can do to combat hip pain.
To do this exercise, simply lie on your back with your feet hip-distance apart and planted on the ground. Press into the ground and lift your hips in the air, trying to form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees (don’t arch your back).
Hold for 3-5 seconds, then return to the beginning. Complete ten repetitions.
2. Use Ice Daily
Icing your hip can work wonders for relieving pain and inflammation, especially if your hip pain is brought on by bursitis or arthritis. Depending on your pain level, you can ice your hip up to 4-5 times per day in 10-15-minute increments.
3. Raise the Seat
Many seniors find that their hip pain is aggravated when they try to lower themselves onto and raise themselves up from a chair, sofa, or even a toilet. Devices like a chairlift or a raised toilet seat can help reduce hip strain for seniors as they stand up and sit down.
4. Stretch Consistently
Consistent stretching is also important for relieving pain and improving hip mobility. The figure 4 stretch is one of the best for hip pain.
Start by lying on your back with your knees bent. Lift the leg that’s bothering you and cross it over your other leg so that your ankle is resting on your opposite thigh. Pull the bent leg in toward your chest, clasping your hands around the back of your thigh if possible. Hold for 10-15 seconds, then release and switch sides.
5. Use Natural Anti-Inflammatories
Finally, instead of using over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, which can cause serious issues for seniors, try using a natural anti-inflammatory like curcumin (found in turmeric). Turmeric is safe for most people, and research shows it works just as well as ibuprofen for improving joint pain and function.