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Hip Injuries, Age 12 and Older (cont.)

Prevention

The following tips may prevent hip injuries.

Keep bones strong

  • Eat foods rich in calcium, like yogurt, cheese, milk, and dark green vegetables. Eat foods rich in vitamin D, like eggs, fatty fish, cereal, and fortified milk.
  • Exercise and stay active. It is best to do weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, jogging, stair climbing, dancing, or lifting weights, for 2½ hours a week. One way to do this is to be active 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week. In addition to weight-bearing exercise, experts recommend that you do resistance exercises at least 2 days a week. Talk to your doctor about an exercise program that is right for you. Begin slowly, especially if you have not been active. For more information, see the topic Fitness.
  • Don't drink more than 2 alcohol drinks a day if you are a man, or 1 alcohol drink a day if you are a woman. People who drink more than this may have a higher chance for developing osteoporosis. Alcohol use also increases your chance of falling and breaking a bone.
  • Stop or do not begin smoking. Smoking also increases your chance for developing osteoporosis. It also interferes with blood supply and healing. For more information, see the topic Quitting Smoking.

Prevent hip injuries

  • Wear your seat belt in a car.
  • Do not carry objects that are too heavy.
  • Use a step stool. Do not stand on chairs or other unsteady objects.
  • Wear protective gear during sports or recreational activities, such as roller-skating or soccer. Supportive splints, such as wrist guards, may lower your chance for injury.
  • Do not do activities that make one side of the pelvis higher than the other, such as running in only one direction on a track or working sideways on a slope. Keep your hips level.

Reduce falls

Hip injuries can happen from falls. Do all you can to prevent falls.

  • Remove any obstacles from your walking path and fix anything in your house that may cause you to fall. Household hazards that can cause falls include slippery floors, poor lighting, cluttered walkways, throw rugs, raised doorway thresholds, and electrical cords.
  • Keep furniture or other items that have sharp edges away from normal walking pathways in your house.
  • Use nonskid floor wax, and wipe up spills immediately.
  • Have your vision and hearing checked regularly. If you have poor vision or hearing, you may have a harder time keeping your balance.
  • Know the side effects of any medicines you are taking. Ask your doctor or pharmacist whether the medicines you are taking can change your balance. For example, sleeping pills or sedatives can change your balance.
  • Check the condition of your shoes on a regular basis. Wear low-heeled shoes that fit well and give your feet good support.
  • Have a lot of lights in your house, especially on stairways, porches, and outside walkways. Use night-lights in areas such as hallways and bathrooms. Add extra light switches or use remote switches, such as switches that go on or off when you clap your hands, to make it easier to turn lights on if you have to get up during the night.
  • Have sturdy handrails on stairways.
  • Put grab bars and nonskid mats inside and outside your shower or tub and near the toilet and sinks. Use shower chairs and bath benches.
  • Be safe when you go outdoors. Use a cane or walker if you need to. If you live in an area that gets snow and ice in the winter, have a family member or friend sprinkle salt or sand on slippery steps and sidewalks.

If you live alone, you may want to get an emergency contact bracelet or necklace. If you fall and can't get to the phone, you can press the button on your bracelet or necklace. This calls or an emergency number for you so that help can be sent.

Exercises to stretch and strengthen your hip and back area

Warm up and stretch before exercising to prevent muscle strains and injury.

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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