By Physiotherapist Tracey DiMatteo
If you feel pain around your hip whilst walking, it may have a number of causes. Most commonly these are arthritis, joint degeneration, bursitis and tendonitis.
Here we will consider arthritis and degeneration, which are common problems in people over the age of 50. These are common because the ball and socket joint of the hip moves a lot under considerable load over our lifetime and this leads to gradual wear of the cartilage covering bone surface.
Typical symptoms of Hip Pain
Pain arising from the hip joint is commonly felt in the groin and front thigh area, but may also extend to the knee and low back. Degenerative changes to the hip will often lead to stiffness in the joint and weakness in the surrounding muscles.
This may lead to pain and difficulty with everyday activities such as walking, climbing stairs or it may limit your ability to undertake load bearing sports such as running or golf.
How can you prevent hip pain when walking?
You can often improve the condition of your hips, before or even after these degenerative changes occur through simple exercises.
Watch the videos on our exercise page for Hip, Leg & Ankle to:
- Maintain/improve hip flexibility through simple stretching
- Maintain/improve muscles strength around the hip
- Improve abdominal(tummy muscle) strength
- Maintain/improve spinal flexibility – regular exercise such as Pilates or Yoga (we hold classes here) or simple home exercises
- Balance training – this will reduce excessive wobble around the hip exercises
- Vary your exercises – especially if you do a lot of one type (e.g. running or tennis)
- Increase low impact strengthening exercise into your routine such as swimming, cycling, Pilates
If you suffer hip pain when walking then also consider:
- Watching your weight
- Wearing good supportive shoes or getting insoles to maintain good foot position
- Using walking poles if you enjoy long walks
- Try sleeping with a pillow between you knees at night
- Remember, even if you have been diagnosed with arthritis of degeneration at the hip you can still make improvements with the right types of exercise.
If pain is persisting and affecting your enjoyment of walking then physiotherapy may be able to help. Please call 020 8943 2424 and our friendly receptionists will be happy to book an appointment for you.