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Physical Therapist Shares The BEST EXERCISE To Fix Hip Pain in 5 Minutes

If you have hip pain and you try to look it up on WebMD, I can almost guarantee hip bursitis will be one of the tops things that pop up. In fact, if you just Google "hip pain", the top four results on the highlight section are osteoarthritis, arthritis, trochanteric bursitis and bursitis.

Bursitis just means that the little fluid-filled sacs in the hip joint are inflamed. This is considered a diagnosis in the medical world, but it's really just describing the symptom of a bigger problem. We often fail to ask ourselves "why are my bursae inflamed?"

I would go on to argue that it's most likely inflamed because of instability. Think of your inflamed bursae like a blister. Blisters form and get painful because something is rubbing where it shouldn't and your body is trying to protect itself from further damage while also sending you a signal of "ow something is wrong, stop doing what you're doing". Bursitis is very similar. When your hip is unstable, it's causing the bones and tissues to rub up against things that it shouldn't The bones aren't sitting securely in the joint and so when you move, they pinch and rub and cause too much friction, giving you bursitis.

After diagnosing you with bursitis, most MDs will suggest rest and pain medication like ibuprofen. And will this help for the time being? Sure. If you have a blister on your foot, it'll feel better or even go away with rest and some Advil, but what happens when you put that bad shoe back on? The blister will come right back. And that's because we haven't successfully addressed the root cause of the problem. In the case of the hip, it's the instability!

In theory, if the hip regains its stability and there is no longer that excess friction where there shouldn't be, the bursitis should go away on its own. So today I will be sharing one of my favorite hip stability exercises that only takes a few minutes every day, side-lying hip abduction.

The main target muscle of this exercise is the gluteus medius. It stabilizes the contralateral or opposite leg by controlling the same side of the pelvis so it doesn't drop or buckle down.

To set up this exercise, you'll want to start by laying down on a comfortable surface in the fetal position with the affected hip up. More simply, lay on your good hip in the fetal position. Place your hand on the inside of the knee that is touching the surface to hold your body steady and in place. You will then extend your affected leg (top leg) out as if you are reaching to lengthen that leg. Internally rotate the extended leg (think sticking your heel up or pointing your toes down). This will most likely cause some shaking. Hold this position until the shaking stops. When the shaking stops you can do some mini leg lifts to really target that muscle.

Consistency with this exercise is key. Muscles take time to build up their strength. So give your body some time to adjust. As your stabilizing muscles get stronger, you should notice that the bursitis symptoms start slowly fading away.

Of course, it's always best to seek out a healthcare professional to accurately diagnose you and come up with a proper course of treatment!

Heal smarter, not harder,

Dr. Justin C. Lin


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