Is your New Year’s resolution hazardous to your hips?

Is your New Year’s resolution hazardous to your hips?

About half of all Americans make New Year’s resolutions – many of them aimed at developing a healthier lifestyle.

But is your quest for a healthier 2023 increasing your risk for hip pain and walking difficulties in the distant future?

Dr. Sarkis Bedikian, an orthopedic surgeon at Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago, says that if we’re not careful, our exercise routines and everyday behaviors could cause long-term damage to our hips and increase our risk for needing joint replacement surgeries later in life.

“Many people believe hip fractures and other serious hip injuries are an inevitable part of the aging process, but this doesn’t have to be true for everyone,” Dr. Bedikian explains.

“Many of the habits and lifestyle choices we make during our younger years contribute to gradual joint damage that worsens over time until we can no longer ignore it in our senior years,” he says.

If you’ve resolved to tweak your lifestyle and make this year your healthiest, Dr. Bedikian offers the following fixes that can make the most common resolutions hip-friendlier:

New Year’s Resolution Potential Risk Hip-Friendly Fix
1. Get more exercise Repetitive Injuries:  Repeating the same high-impact workout daily – especially if you’ve been sedentary for years – can lead to overuse injuries or hip arthritis. Minimize wear and tear from repetitive motion by mixing several types of exercise into your routine. For example, try biking two days a week, then swim on your remaining work-out days that week.
2. Save more money Groin pulls and hip pain: Wearing worn-down or improperly fitting athletic shoes can lead to tendonitis, which causes pain in the hips, thighs and buttocks. Protect the tendons and soft tissues surrounding your hips from inflammation by investing in the right types of shoes. Make sure your budget allows you to replace old athletic shoes with new ones suited for your activity.
3. Get more sleep Hip socket damage:  Sleeping on your side can create a painful  impingement that wears away the cartilage cushioning the hip joint in its socket. Reduce pressure on hip cartilage by changing sleep positions. If you must sleep on your side, place a pillow between your knees so the top knee is parallel to the bottom knee.
4. Spend more time with family and friends  Joint stiffness, numbness or tingling: Sitting in one position for long periods of time and/or slouching can lead to hip pain, as well as troubles with your back, neck and shoulders. Interact with family and friends in settings where you are free to move around. If you must stay seated, maintain good posture with both feet flat on the floor, back straight and legs uncrossed.
5. Feel less stressed  Hip socket damage and groin pulls: Reducing stress through yoga can lead to overly aggressive stretching and cause hip injuries. Protect your mobility by stretching at your own ability. Try using yoga blocks (and caution) to increase flexibility gradually. If you feel pain during a movement, you have stretched too far.

Do you have hip or knee pain? Take a free online quiz to learn more. 

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About the Author

Cassie Richardson
Cassie Richardson

Cassie Richardson, health enews contributor, is regional coordinator on the Public Affairs team for Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. She has more than 10 years of experience in health care communications, marketing, media and public relations. Cassie is a fan of musical theater and movies. When she’s not spreading the word about health and wellness advancements, she enjoys writing fiction.