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Stay active and exercise

Description

Being active is good for your overall health and sense of well-being. People with arthritis who remain active feel better than those who do not.

Exercise keeps your muscles strong and increases your range of motion. This is the amount you can bend and flex your joints. Tired, weak muscles add to the pain or stiffness caused by arthritis.

Be sure you do exercises and get as strong as you can before surgery. It can speed up your recovery.

Choose from these activities

Water exercises may be the best exercise for your arthritic hip. Swim laps, do water aerobics, or just walk in the shallow end of a pool. All these exercises will help make the muscles around your spine and hips stronger.

If you are not able to do water exercise or use a stationary bike, try walking. Just be sure it does not cause too much pain. Walk on smooth, even surfaces, such as the sidewalks near your home or at a shopping mall.

Ask your health care provider if you can use a stationary bike. If you have severe arthritis, using a bike may hurt your joints more. If you cannot use a stationary bike, even doing upper body exercises can be helpful for you to prepare for surgery.

Ask your physical therapist or provider to show you gentle exercises that will increase your range of motion and strengthen the muscles around your hips.

Be careful

As long as you don't overdo it, staying active and getting exercise will not make your hip arthritis get worse any faster.

Taking acetaminophen (Tylenol) or another pain pill before exercising is OK. But don't overdo the exercise because you have taken the medicine.

If any exercise causes your pain to become worse later that day, during the night, or the next day, try doing less exercise the next time.

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Review Date: 12/31/2018

Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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