Aging is beautiful, but it isn’t always glamorous. Most people begin to feel pain as they age, especially in areas like their knees, backs, and hips.
While some of this pain becomes the “new normal,” there are some procedures that can help ease pain, like hip replacements. There are many reasons someone may potentially need a hip replacement. For example, those with arthritis, bone tumors, or fractures are at risk, as well as those who are obese or who have a record of family members experiencing the problem.
If you know you are at risk of needing a hip replacement, there are ways you can avoid it.
1. Maintain your weight
Walking around with extra weight causes strain and breaks down the cartilage on your hips faster, especially if you already have arthritis. Since obesity is a causing factor of hip replacements, it is wise to maintain a healthy weight.
If you are currently obese, make a renewed effort to lose weight. Losing weight won’t help your cartilage return, but it will reduce the weight and stress you are putting on your hips.
Exercising is all-around beneficial, but even more so when your hips are in possible distress. Exercising can help you maintain your weight to keep your hips happy, but it can also help you give nutrients to your cartilage and loosen your joints.
If you have been inactive for a while, start slowly and try a low-impact aerobic activity like swimming or walking. If you need help knowing what exercises to try that will be best for you, consider hiring a physical therapist or a personal trainer for help.
3. Talk to your doctor
If you want to avoid a hip replacement, talk to your doctor about your fear. Your doctor can help you find a diet/workout plan that can help you lose weight and put your muscles to better use (or they can point you in the direction of someone who can).
Your doctor can also help you by keeping a close check on the condition of your hips and prescribing any medications you may need.
Avoiding a hip replacement starts with you. In some cases it’s unavoidable, but if you make an effort to exercise and maintain a healthy weight while talking to your doctor, you just might not need one.
However, if you are regularly experiencing any signs of hip pain, it may be time for hip replacement surgery.
Signs it may be time for hip surgery
If you can’t walk or move about your home without pain, it may be time to have a serious conversation with your doctor about your hips.
Moving in pain isn’t the only indicator that you need a hip replacement. Some greater signs are if you still experience pain even with physical therapy or medications, or if your hips hurt when you aren’t moving.
Your doctor may find that it’s due to a different problem, like back or knee pain—however, if these are ruled out, then your doctor will likely advise you to seek help from a specialist regarding a hip replacement surgery.
Hip replacements can be expensive and take a long time to recover from, but they can lessen the pain you feel daily. Replacing your hip can help you live a higher quality of life and may lessen any depression you may have felt while you were in pain.
If you can’t avoid a replacement, talk to a specialist to know your options.