Living with hip pain on a daily basis can make life severely unpleasant, especially because it can impact your mobility significantly. Most people don't realize how much they use their hips every day, until they start experiencing constant pain. Luckily, though, there are home remedies for hip pain that will help you manage it.
RICE Your Hip to Alleviate Pain
One of the most effective methods of treating hip pain at home is with the RICE method. RICE is a method which anybody can use that stands for:
First, you have to rest. That means you stop engaging in any activity that causes pain. It could mean you stop running, or it could mean you stop moving altogether. Ideally, you should rest between 24 and 48 hours.
You should also apply an ice pack to the area where you can feel the pain. The ice will help to reduce inflammation and can make you feel much better. If you are experiencing extremely intense pain, then you should ice the area up to five times a day, for 10 to 15 minutes each time.
You can use anything from your freezer as an ice pack. Peas are a great option because they are easier to mold around the affected area. Make sure to wrap a towel around your ice pack because direct contact with your skin could cause irritation.
You need to compress the area as well, by applying an elastic bandage, like an Ace wrap, around your pelvis and hip. Compression helps reduce swelling, but you must be careful not to wrap the area to tightly as it can cause even more swelling below your hip. If you experience tingling or numbness, that's a sign that you wrapped the bandage too tightly and it needs to be loosened.
Finally, you need to elevate the problematic area as it helps to reduce swelling and relieve pain. It might be more difficult to elevate your hip, but with the help of some cushions or pillows, you'll manage it.
A Little Stretching and Exercise Can Help
It might sound counterintuitive to try treating hip pain at home with exercise, but a little gentle movement can do you a world of good. Exercise helps strengthen the muscles around the hip, providing it with additional support, and it can also improve your hip joint's range of motion. However, the type of exercise you do are very important so as not to aggravate your pain.
The Arthritis Foundation recommends exercises such as walking in a shallow pool, walking on a flat surface, gentle swimming, bike riding or yoga.
Also, after you engage in any form of exercise, make sure you stretch. After cooling down, stand sideways on to a wall. If your right side is towards the wall, put your right hand on the wall and bend your elbow slightly. Cross your left foot over your right foot, keeping your right leg straight and your left slightly bent. Now, move your right hip towards the wall slowly and hold. Avoid bouncing as it can cause more harm. Repeat on the other side.
Treating Hip Pain at Home with Anti-Inflammatories
If nothing seems to be working, you might have to resort to anti-inflammatory medication to alleviate your hip pain. Ideally, you shouldn't take these drugs for extended periods of time as they can cause ulcers and other gastro-intestinal issues. However, on a bad day, they can certainly help.
One option is ibuprofen. It will reduce swelling and inflammation in the hip and alleviate the pain as well. Please note, though, that you should be using other methods to reduce the pain as well so that you reduce the need for these drugs.
If you need help with your hip pain, at Augusta Health we can help you with a wide range of issues. To learn more about how we can help you alleviate hip pain and age gracefully, please give our Joint Center a call at (540) 932-5047.