Amazingly Simple Steps To Avoid Hip Surgery
More than 150,000 men have hip replacement surgery done each year due to arthritis. And hundreds of thousands more are living with hip pain. Is there anything that can be done to avoid surgery and reverse hip arthritis and pain?
In today’s article we’re going to look at some simple steps you can take to protect your hips and keep them healthy for life. If you currently have hip pain, the following guidelines will help. If you do not have hip pain, the following suggestions will help you to keep your hips healthy.
What Is Arthritis
The most common cause of hip replacement surgery is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a condition in which the cartilage at the ends of bones begins to wear away. Cartilage is the cushiony material found on the ends of bones. It acts to protect the bones and ease movement.
When cartilage wears away, there is less to protect the bones and ease movement. The result is pain, discomfort, loss of mobility, and inflammation. The pain and mobility loss can range from mild to debilitating.
Most experts claim that there is no known cure to osteoarthritis. However, research shows that while not everyone will benefit equally from all remedies, there are proven ways to halt and reverse osteoarthritis. Even the Harvard School of Public Health offers advice on natural ways to slow or reverse the condition. In what follows, we’ll take a look.
Exercise is proven to play an important role in maintaining hip health and reducing osteoarthritis symptoms. However, the wrong types of exercise can actually be the cause of osteoarthritis.
Remember that osteoarthritis is a condition in which the cartilage wears away. Exercise that repeatedly grinds the cartilage of one bone against another will contribute to osteoarthritis. That means that long distance running, for example, is bad for your hips (and knees). Therefore, if you currently have a habit of long distance running or other activities that repeatedly apply a great deal of force to your hips for long periods of time, now is the time to stop.
Of course, we all know that the right types of exercise are vital to long term health. And that includes hip health. When we don’t exercise, the muscles surrounding the joints weaken. As a result, the joints take more pressure instead of the muscles. The outcome is osteoarthritis.
The very best types of exercise are those that are low impact and that strengthen the muscles around the joints. Low impact walking, for example, is an excellent form of exercise that provides many health benefits. Resistance training such as weight lifting can also be very beneficial. And for those with existing osteoarthritis, in water resistance exercise with a trained instructor may be very beneficial.
So instead of going for a daily run, go for a daily walk. Wear good shoes, and if possible, avoid pavement. Walk gently and lightly, avoiding the heavy compression in your hips. And consider weekly or semiweekly resistance workouts. It is important that you do resistance workouts with good form so that you strengthen the muscles and avoid injury. Resistance training should never cause significant pain, and should be done slowly and with control. Front-weighted dumbbell squats are an excellent and safe exercise for strengthening the legs and supporting the hips. However, the degree of mobility that you presently have may determine the range of motion you can do to start. Because your individual needs may vary, it is impossible to give one-size-fits-all instructions in this article. If in doubt, find a qualified physical therapist who can assist you.
If you already have osteoarthritis, research shows that these correct forms of exercise can increase your mobility and reduce pain over time. However, initially, you will experience discomfort in doing the exercise. However, at no time should you force an exercise that causes significant pain. One study showed that participants who did strengthening, flexibility, and functional exercises twice a week had a 44 percent reduction in hip replacement surgery. Depending on the level of pain and loss of mobility that you experience, seeking out a qualified physical therapist to assist you in developing an exercise plan may be a good idea.
Avoiding the wrong types of exercise and doing the right types of exercise can prevent further cartilage loss. However, exercise alone does not reverse existing loss. To restore cartilage and to improve cartilage health, nutrition is necessary. Here we’ll look at some of the proven nutritional therapies to improve cartilage health.
Cartilage is made primarily of a type of protein called collagen. Therefore, it makes sense that dietary collagen would provide the nutrition necessary to strengthen and regrow cartilage. And not surprisingly, science has shown that to be the case. Research shows that people with osteoarthritis who eat collagen daily have less pain and greater mobility.
One of the traditional ways in which people have eaten collagen is by eating the collagenous cuts of meat. That includes oxtail, bone broth, and the skin (fish, poultry, or pork rinds ,for example). However, as those traditional cuts of meat have fallen out of fashion, many people eat very little collagen. You can either eat more of those types of cuts, or you can take supplemental collagen. Gelatin is a form of collagen, and you can often find unsweetened, unflavored gelatin in the grocery store or at a natural food store. Alternatively, you can find a product called collagen hydrolysate, which is made from beef or pork. Collagen hydrolysate is like gelatin, but it mixes with water more easily. Or, if you don’t want to have to taste the (mild) taste of collagen, you can find (expensive) encapsulated collagen products.
In order to produce collagen and cartilage, the human body needs vitamin C. Research shows that people who have a high intake of vitamin C from food have low rates of osteoarthritis. No studies have investigated whether supplemental vitamin C is effective or not. But by increasing your vitamin C intake from food, you may be able to help prevent or reverse osteoarthritis. Foods high in vitamin C include brassicas (broccoli, kale, etc.), citrus, tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers.
And finally, those who have high dietary intake of vitamin D and healthy blood levels of vitamin D have low rates of osteoarthritis. Not surprisingly, those who get adequate, regular sunlight exposure also have low rates of osteoarthritis. (Sunlight helps the body to produce vitamin D.) So for your health, get a few minutes of unfiltered, midday sun on your skin every day (but don’t burn) and eat oily fish, whole milk, butter, and egg yolks regularly.
Supplements That Help
Research has also shown that a few nutritional supplements can be helpful. First off, studies have shown that rosehips can prevent and reverse osteoarthritis. Rosehips are the fruit of the rose plant. You can find rosehips in capsules or in powder form. The powder is a tad tart. The studies have shown that the benefits are modest but significant.
A substance called glucosamine, which is usually extracted from shellfish, has also been proven to help some people. Researchers don’t know why it seems to help some and not others. However, it certainly may be worth a try. One study found that it prevented further damage to cartilage and another study showed that it reduced pain significantly. You can typically find glucosamine in capsules in most grocery stores, pharmacies, and natural food stores.
Finally, some studies have shown a benefit from fish oil. However, many of those studies have been unclear as to whether the benefits are from any fish oil or only from cod liver oil. Fish oil is a source of omega 3 fats, which have been shown to be beneficial in reducing inflammation. However, cod liver oil is not only a source of omega 3 fats, but also a source of vitamin A and vitamin D. As vitamin D has already been shown to be beneficial in reducing osteoarthritis, it’s not clear if the beneficial effects in these studies were from vitamin D, omega 3, or something else entirely. You may want to experiment with cod liver oil daily for a few months.
Whether you currently experience hip pain or not, now is the time to begin taking care of your hips. Following the guidelines outlined in this article you can protect yourself and remain free of osteoarthritis for life.