Hip health is important, since hip problems are a frequent cause of mobility issues and disability in adults. Taking measures to keep bones and joints healthy and strong can help prevent hip osteoarthritis, which affects one of every four adults, as well as reducing risk of developing osteoporosis, which affects about 40 million people, causing bones to become brittle and making hip fractures a serious hazard. Maintaining hip health also reduces your risk of less serious injuries, like strains, sprains, tendinitis and bursitis, which can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort. Good nutrition and daily exercise are the most effective means of ensuring that bones and joints remain in great shape.
Maintaining Hip Health
- Daily exercise is very necessary for joint and bone health.
The hip joint needs support from strong hip muscles to operate smoothly. The hip muscles keep the joint aligned properly and stable as it bends and flexes, factors that help protect against excess joint wear. Inactivity causes weakening in those muscles, which can lead to reduced joint function and joint pain. Bones need exercise too, since placing them under a little stress triggers production of new bone cells, maintaining strength and density. At least thirty minutes of low-impact weight-bearing exercise per day is what your bones and joints need, such as walking, swimming or low-impact aerobics. Yoga, Pilates stair-climbing or bicycling are also great choices.
- Nutrition is another essential element in maintaining hip health.Your body needs a vast selection of vitamins, minerals and other vital nutrients to keep bones, muscles and joints in good repair. Topping the list of essential nutrients for bone health are calcium and vitamin D. B-complex vitamins, potassium, magnesium and vitamin C are necessary for muscle strength and function, and joints need vitamin E and omega-3 essential fatty acids. A diet that includes lean proteins, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables can provide those nutrients, and a good multivitamin with minerals can provide insurance against occasional deficits.
Potential Consequences of Poor Hip HealthApproximately 250,000 hip fractures happen in the United States every year, and weak bones are a factor in many of them. Hip fractures require surgery to repair the damage, and often, hip replacement must be done. Joint degeneration due to osteoarthritis often makes hip replacement necessary, contributing to the staggering number of hip replacement procedures done each year in the United States, which totaled 458,000 in 2010.
While hip replacement has become almost routine these days, it is still major surgery and complications can happen. Lately, problems have been more likely due to faulty implants, several of which have been recalled. The most recent recall occurred in July 2012, affecting thousands of patients, as the popular Stryker Rejuvenate hip implant system was pulled from the market. Prone to corrosion, this implant had high failure rates and caused metallosis in some people, which is an inflammatory condition caused by metallic implant debris. In the injured patients, that debris collected in the soft tissues of the hip, leading to pain and swelling, and in some cases, tissue death and bone loss. Some of these injured patients have sought legal help by filing a hip lawsuit.
Elizabeth Carrollton writes about defective medical devices and dangerous drugs for Drugwatch.com.