Compared to the knee, the hip is a relatively simple joint. It is a ball and socket joint which is self supporting. There are however lots of muscles that help it work. Using these muscles and tendons will help your hip work better in the medium term after injury.
Whether you have just had a hip replacement operation or injured yourself in sport or a fall, recovering from a hip injury takes time and effort. It is important to exercise your hip as if you don’t move it, it will remain painful and not recover as effectively.
Get advice from your physiotherapist as to what exactly to do. He or she will advise you to do a course of exercise, but not to stop immediately after the pain has gone. Just because the pain appears to have subsided, doesn’t mean to say you have fully recovered!
Swimming is one option and is great for those with knee, ankle or hip pain as it is gentle on the joints. When you are in the water, it supports your weight while you are able to move about in a range of ways. And because of this extra support, you can do more with less risk of injury to the hip. Many physiotherapy sessions are now in the water, known as “hydrotherapy” because it is so useful in recovery from a hip injury.
However, if you are unable to leave the house or you just don’t have access to a pool, fear not. We have 10 simple exercises to help you get back on your feet. All of which can be done from the comfort of your own home.
In Bed Exercises
1. Ankle Pumps
Move your foot at the ankle up and down using the ankle as a hinge. Do this 5 times per session and 5 times a day.
2. Ankle Rotations
Rotate your foot in toward the other leg and then back. Do this five times, and repeat the group 3-5 times a day.
3. In Bed Knee Bends
As mobility improves, move your knee up towards your body as if climbing a step. Raise and lower it slowly as far as you can manage. Don’t worry if you can’t manage far at first – this will improve as time progresses.
4. Knee Straighten Exercise
Using your leg muscles, straighten your knee on your bed, as if you were standing up. When fully straight, hold it in place for five seconds. Rest and do it again for 7-10 repetitions per session.
5. Straight Leg Raises
Lying on your back with a straight leg, raise and lower it from the bed. At the top, hold it for 2 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times, building the time the leg is in the air. Do these sessions twice a day.
Out of Bed Exercises
6. Leg Side Raise
Lie on your side and raise the upper leg as far as you can manage for 5-10 seconds. Lower the leg slowly and repeat the act 10 times on both legs. Do two sessions a day.
7. Sitting Knee Extensions
Sit in a chair and hold the chair with your hands. Straighten your leg and hold it in front of you for five seconds. Then swing it under the chair and hold it for five seconds. Rest and repeat five times. Use this exercise twice a day.
8. Squat Thrusts
Stand upright and lower your backside toward the floor, bending your knees with your back to the vertical. Once you are as near to a sitting position as you can manage, hold for 2-3 seconds. Try to do 5 times, building in number as you feel comfortable. Do these twice a day.
9. The Runner’s Stretch
Stand near a wall, push one leg out behind you and bend your front knee to stretch the tendon in the back leg. Use the wall to help you keep your balance! Once you feel it stretching but not uncomfortable, hold in that position for five seconds. Do this on each leg for five times, building the time at maximum extension.
10. Step Lower
Stand on a step, holding on to something for balance. Lower a leg off it but don’t touch the next step down, bending your upper knee and keeping your back straight. Hold in position for 10 seconds, raise and repeat 5 times per leg.
Know Your Limits!
Recovery takes time. Consider getting an indoor or outdoor stairlift and other modifications around your home to enable you to get around while you gently recover.
Formed in 1992, Acorn Stairlifts are the experts when it comes to the design and installation of stairlifts. Whether you need a stairlift for straight stairs, curved or narrow stairways, we have the knowledge to help you regain your independence.