Ways to Prevent Hip Pain and Get Around
Sound waves, warm baths and other helpful tips and techniques for managing hip pain.
Medications and injections don't always completely relieve hip pain. And if you have surgery, you'll likely need some help getting around while you heal. At times when you need extra help with pain relief or mobility, here are some techniques and devices worth trying.
• Canes. If placing weight on your hip causes pain, your doctor or physical therapist may recommend a cane. There are many different types of canes. The most common type has a single tip, but if you have trouble balancing, your doctor may recommend a quad, or four-point cane. Your doctor or physical therapist can advise the best way to use your cane, but generally you should hold it in the hand opposite the painful hip.
• Electrical Stimulation. Electrical stimulation of muscle tissue (called neuromuscular electrical stimulation) around the hip may be useful for strengthening the muscles that support the joint. Electrical stimulation may also increase blood flow to the tissues around the hip joint to relieve pain and promote the healing of injuries.
• Ultrasound. Ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves to stimulate the deep tissues within the body. It is believed that vibration of the sound waves stimulates deep tissues, to relieve pain, increase blood flow and, thereby, possibly promote healing.
• Cold and Heat. Warming tissues eases arthritis pain by increasing blood flow to affected areas, which can help decrease inflammation, relax tight muscles and eliminate waste products, such as lactic acid, that cause stiffness and soreness. Cold therapy, applied in the form of cold packs, ice packs, or fluids work by decreasing blood flow to reduce swelling, slowing the transmission of pain signals through nerves and inhibiting inflammatory chemicals. Cold application is also helpful to reduce pain, swelling and inflammation after an injury.