The hip joint is part of the foundation of our body; our weight bearing, our walking and general day to day movement. Part of what constitutes healthy hip function is a free range of motion in all directions and the strength and stability to allow us to move with ease. This comes form a combination of our supporting muscles, ligaments, cartilage and bone density.
The joint is a ball and socket design, and classified as synovial; meaning it has a capsule that surrounds it, and is filled with synovial fluid. This fluid is an important lubricator of our joints, and also helps with nutrient and waste circulation in cartilage and joint surfaces. Healthy forms of movement and weight bearing exercise help keep this fluid nourishing our joint surfaces, which is important in maintaining longevity in our joints. Bone density is another important factor in our weight bearing bones and joints. By staying active and putting weight or stress through your bones, your body responds by strengthening the existing bone tissue. Coupled with healthy sources of calcium and vitamin D, your bones will have the tools they need for healthy structure and support. Supplements can add further benefit in healthy joint surfaces and cartilage; chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine sulfate and hyaluronic acid are some examples of supporting nutritional therapy. Consult with your health care provider for further information.
Some examples of healthy exercise can include pool exercise or aquatic therapy, yoga, walking, running, bike riding or tai chi. It’s a good idea to integrate a stretch routine into your day, maybe in the morning to help fight stagnation in muscles and joints that may accumulate as we sleep. Using a foam roller is another great way to promote circulation and flexibility in the gluteals, hips and things. Strengthening your hips and core is another good way to help prevent pain and maintain your function; whether it’s your golf swing, jazzercise, or just being active in general. This can be done just with your body weight or a simple resistance band, going to the gym isn’t mandatory to add meaningful exercise to your routine. Consulting with your chiropractor, physical therapist or personal trainer are great resources to help you in this category.
It’s important to remember that movement, exercise and healthy dietary choices help maintain the function and health of our joints and connective tissues. Part of Newton’s first law states that objects in motion stay in motion, and objects at rest remain at rest; which can also be said for our joints and bodies!