5 Exercises to Relieve Hip Arthritis Pain

Question: My pain is coming from osteoarthritis in my hip. Which exercises are most beneficial for my condition? I’ve been doing the piriformis and hip flexor flows.
― Yoko

Answer: When it comes to arthritis, the most important thing that we may want to do is, we want to do what we can to maintain and improve the range of motion. Ideally, you may start in a nonweight-bearing position. Then, start building strength and stability around that joint. You start with nonweight-bearing exercises then you move toward weight-bearing exercises.

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Nonweight-bearing Positions:

Exercise #1:

Lie on your back on the floor or bed, maintaining proper alignment with your head, shoulders, hips, and legs. Contract your core and bend one leg, bringing your knee toward your shoulder. Use your hand to pull your knee closer to intensify the stretch. Lower your leg back down to return to the starting position, and then repeat the movement on the opposite leg.

Exercise #1

The purpose of this exercise is to work on maintaining and improving the range of motion. The intensity is light.

Exercise #2:

Lie on your back on the floor, maintaining proper alignment with your head, shoulders, hips, and legs. Bend one knee and place both hands at your sides. Contract your core then drop your bent knee out to the side then back toward the midline. Return to the starting position, and then repeat the movement on the opposite leg.

Exercise #2

The purpose of this exercise is to work on the internal and external rotation of the hip. It also works on the getting abduction and adduction of the hip. The intensity is light.

Exercise #3:

Lie on your side with your head resting on your bent arm, keeping your head, shoulders, hips, and legs in proper alignment. Contract your core then lift your top leg up to a 45-degree angle, keeping your toes facing forward. Lower your leg back down to the starting position, and then repeat the movement on the opposite side.

Exercise #3

The purpose of this exercise is to work on activation, endurance, and strength in the gluteus medius. The intensity is light.

Exercise #4:

Lie on your side, with your knees bent and head resting on your bent arm. Maintain proper alignment with your head, shoulders and hips. Contract your core then lift your top knee towards the ceiling. Lower your knee back down to return to the starting position, and then repeat the movement on the opposite side.

Exercise #4

The purpose of this exercise is to target much more of the gluteus medius muscle. The intensity is light.

Weight-bearing Position:

Exercise #5:

Begin in an upright standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart, maintaining proper alignment with your head, shoulders, hips and legs. Place both hands at your sides. Bend one knee, bringing your heel up toward your seat, ideally to a 90-degree angle. Hold this position for at least 10 seconds. Lower your foot back down to return to the starting position, and then repeat the movement on the opposite side.

Exercise #5

The purpose of this exercise is to work on the hips being square and not popping out to the side. The intensity is light.

Other things to remember especially if you are sitting for a longer period of time at work is, the more that your joints are moved out away from the neutral position, the more stress that gets put on the joint.  If you sit for a long period of time, that’s going to irritate that hip arthritis. If you also have poor mobility, especially on your low back, that’s going to lead more stress on the hip and irritate your hip arthritis. Standing for a long period of time will also irritate things. To combat this, you need to take breaks, move around or do some leg stretches.