When you have arthritis in your hips, simple tasks like walking up the stairs or picking up a dropped fridge magnet can be painful, if not impossible. Many patients rely on over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and naproxen to keep their pain at bay. While these pain relievers do have their place, they can cause some side effects such as stomach bleeding and an increased risk of heart attack. Thus, it's important to use them in moderation, and in combination with other, more natural treatments such as:
Regular Chiropractic Visits
While your chiropractor will not be able to reverse your arthritis, he or she will probably be able to reduce your hip pain significantly. By alleviating pressure on certain areas in your spine and hip joints, your chiropractor can reduce muscle spasms, which makes your hips feel looser. He or she may also recommend some exercises you can do at home to keep your hips loose and comfortable. Studies suggest that regular chiropractic treatment may help slow the progression of hip arthritis, so you don't have to worry so much about the pain getting worse in the future.
Your chiropractor can recommend some hip stretches that are ideal for your own personal case of arthritis. However, in the meantime, here are two simple stretches to try:
This might be hard if your arthritis is quite severe. Hold into a wall or bar, and squat down as far as you comfortably can. It's okay for your hips to feel tight, but you should not be in severe pain. Hold the stretch for 5 seconds, then stand back up.
Forward Leg Swings
Again, hold onto a bar or piece of furniture. Keeping your knee straight, swing your leg forward as far as you comfortably can. Keep swinging your leg forward and back for about 10 repeats, then switch to the other leg.
Epsom Salt Baths
The magnesium ions in Epsom salts help relieve inflammation and muscle soreness. As an added bonus, they tend to calm your mood, which can help loosen your joints and reduce arthritis pain. To make an Epsom salt bath, just toss about a cup of Epsom salts into warm bath water. Soak for about 10 minutes 2 or 3 times per week.
The battle against arthritis hip pain is ongoing. Unfortunately, there is no cure, and you will have to deal with this pain for the rest of your life. Take the time now to experiment with the natural treatments above, and find which ones work for you. This way, you can rely less on pain relievers and still feel comfortable.