Question:

Dear TAI Experts:

I have arthritis in both hips. The pain is excruciating. What exercise, if any, can I do to perhaps help this condition?? What can I do when I bend down, but then can’t get up due to the amount of pain? I don’t appear to have any strength there. Help please.

Answer:

Arthritis refers to inflammation in a joint, which can have different causes. Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the body attacking its own joint structures. Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, is ultimately due to movement patterns which stress the joint in ways it can’t control. The ligaments surrounding the joint become loose and are unable to provide control, the cartilage lining the bones that come together wears away faster than the body is able to replace it, and the body will sometimes form overgrowths of bone called osteophytes in an effort to provide some stability. Without a full physical evaluation, I cannot comment on your specific condition. Some exercises that people with hip arthritis find helpful are knee to chest stretches, lying on the back and gently pulling one knee toward the chest. Water exercise also can provide some movement without pain. Sometimes putting weight through the hips in a bent position can be too painful, so keeping the hips in line with the shoulders while gently kneeling down may make this easier. I recommend you see a physical therapist who will help find ways to avoid stressing your joints but retain optimal function.

Audrey Elias PT, DPT