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Hip pain is a common problem that occurs for a variety of reasons, but the location of your pain can provide clues as to what’s to blame. For example, pain on the outside of your hip, outer buttock, or upper thigh usually develops because of muscle or soft tissue issues. However, symptoms that affect the inside of your hip or groin usually indicate a joint problem.

Common causes of hip pain include:

  • Sprains, strains, or tendinitis
  • Arthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Pinched nerves
  • Inguinal hernia
  • Dislocation or fracture
  • Osteoporosis

If you’ve been living with hip pain, it’s easy to assume your only solution is hip replacement surgery. However, you may be able to relieve your discomfort by correcting a few bad habits.

Thomas Calton, MD, specializes in hip and knee replacement surgery at Utah Orthopedics. If you have hip pain, he recommends taking a look at the following bad habits to see if they may be worsening your symptoms.

Taking it too easy

It can be dangerous continuing with activities while “pushing through the pain.” However, getting too much rest can be equally problematic.

Instead of avoiding exercise when you have hip pain, engage in low impact activities, such as walking, riding a bike, swimming, or strength training. Even a gentle yoga session can help stretch your muscles and joints to keep them strong, lubricated, and flexible.

Before starting an exercise program, Dr. Calton can make personalized recommendations based on your condition and overall health.

Carrying excess weight

Unfortunately, being overweight or obese increases your chances of developing a wide range of health complications, including hip pain. That’s because every extra pound of weight you carry puts an additional 4 pounds of stress on weight-bearing joints, such as your hips and knees.

In addition to the physical strain on your joints, fat secretes inflammatory chemicals in your body that can trigger joint pain. Furthermore, being overweight can put you at risk of developing other conditions, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the leading cause of hip replacement surgery in the country.

Wearing the wrong shoes

Your choice of shoes can also lead to hip pain. For example, high heels can put your feet in awkward positions that can throw your body out of alignment. And wearing poorly fitting shoes, worn-out shoes, or footwear without support can also lead to foot pain, joint pain, and joint problems, such as osteoarthritis.

If you have hip pain, look for comfortable shoes that provide plenty of support. It’s usually best to avoid high heels, flip-flops, and slippers. You should also invest in shoes designed for the activity you participate in. For example, a pair of quality walking or running shoes will give you good support if you’re hitting the trails.

Having a poor posture

Many modern activities can lead to pain all over the body, largely because of our posture while performing them. Whether you’re sitting at a desk, behind the wheel of a car, or having a leisurely evening on the sofa, slouching can put added pressure on your hips. This strain can become even more pronounced if you’re crossing your legs or sitting on an uneven surface.

To ease hip pain, practice good posture while sitting and standing. The secret to proper alignment involves aligning your head and shoulders so they’re directly above your hips. You should also limit the time you spend sitting by taking frequent breaks and gently stretching your muscles.

Additional tips for easing hip pain while sitting include:

  • Adding back or seat support, such as a foam base or firm cushion
  • Keeping your feet flat on the floor or using a footrest
  • Avoiding very soft or hard surfaces for long periods
  • Keeping your shoulders relaxed and elbows close to your body

These are just a few ways to avoid making hip pain worse. If your pain lasts longer than a few days or doesn’t respond to conservative treatments, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

If you have hip pain that’s impacting your quality of life, book an appointment over the phone with Utah Orthopedics today.

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