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Are You an Athlete? Avoid These Bad Habits That Hurt Your Hips

It’s hard to think of an athletic pursuit that doesn’t somehow involve your hips. From running and hiking to biking and rowing, hips are important pieces of the athlete puzzle.

If you value your active lifestyle, we want to make the case for protecting your hips as much as possible. To that end, the resident hip specialist here at Western Orthopaedics, Dr. Brian White, suggests some dos and don’ts when it comes to the health of your hips.

Don’t — sit too much

There’s ample conversation about how an increasingly sedentary lifestyle affects our spines, but too much sitting can be equally as bad for your hips. When you sit for prolonged periods, you can lose muscle strength in your glutes, which is an important support system for healthy hips.

As well, if you’re sitting unevenly, with your legs crossed or with something in your back pocket, the imbalance can stress connective tissues in your hips, such as tendons, and lead to tendonitis.

We know it’s hard to avoid sitting, but we urge you to get up every hour or so and move around. A great idea is to conduct more walking meetings, whether in person or on the phone. You should also make sure that you place both feet on the floor when you are sitting.

Don’t — sleep on one side only

We all have a favorite sleep position, but if you spend eight hours each night sleeping on one side only, this could overstress that hip joint. Try to make a point of changing sleep positions, perhaps by starting out on your back, which is the best sleep position for your body.

Do — strengthen your muscles

Whether you’re pounding the pavement or the slopes, you want to head out with hips that can meet your demands. This means spending some time strengthening the muscles that support your hips, which includes your:

To get you started, here are some exercises that target hips.

Do — ease into a new sport

Your friends keep talking about pickleball, and you want to give the sport a whirl. Or, perhaps you want to train for a half marathon and increase your distance running. Whenever you take up a new sport or intensify an existing training regime, go slowly and let all of your joints, including your hips, adjust gradually to the new or increased demands.

Don’t — ignore your hips

We know that athletes love to soldier through pain, but if a hip joint is painful, this is no time for heroics. We urge you to come see us at the first signs of trouble in your hips so we can take steps to avoid much larger, potentially game-ending, problems down the road.

There are plenty of other tips we can provide to help you keep your hips healthy, and we’re happy to sit down with you to come up with the best plan for your goals. To get started, contact one of our offices in Arvada or Denver, Colorado, to make an appointment with Dr. White.

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