Hips, Muscles and Exercise

Simol Member Posts: 3
edited 3. Apr 2016, 10:04 in Living with Arthritis archive
I am 65 and have had hip and lower back problems for about 8 years. My consultant confirmed that I was one of the unfortunate ones who had discomfort/pain/ache out of proportion to the amount of hip wear and very tight leg muscles that led to reduced flexibility. (Real difficulty putting my socks on!!)! Physiotherapy stopped my limp, but a rather sedentary lifestyle/work meant that my approach to exercise was inconsistent and sporadic. Now what I am finding is after a good walk or trip to the gym, my legs seriously ache for days. Doc says take paracetamol before exercise and afterwards to deal with pain. My question is, when my legs are seriously aching after exercise, should I wait on further exercise until the leg discomfort/ache eases or do I continue and work through the discomfort in the expectation that my leg muscles strengthen and eventually counter the pain of the hips and lower back?


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00

    Welcome to the forum. I am sure you will fnd support, advice and light relief here.

    I am one of the moderation team, we all have one or more arthritis 'hanger ons' or look after family with the same

    If you need help with the technicallities of the forum just get in touch via a personal message

    Best wishes
    Mod ChrisK
  • applerose
    applerose Member Posts: 3,621
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Simol. I have problems with hip and lower back pain. My physio said it was because a lower back disc was trying to pop out so I had to sit or stand no more than half an hour at a time. Easier said than done. He has given me exercises to do. One is to lie face down on the floor using my elbows to keep my shoulders off the floor. I told him it was very painful but he insisted I keep doing it. He also told me to bend my knees to pick up from the floor. When I said it made my knees very painful, he said they'd get used to it. I was told to use paracetamol too.

    I used to do long distance running and have a level 2 certificate in preparation to exercise (so I know a tiny bit but not a great deal). One thing was after a run to have a day of rest to let the muscles relax. I used to find that if I walked slowly after running, it seemed to help stop my muscles from aching.

    If I were you, I'd check with your physio or GP about resting the muscles or working through the pain, just to be sure but gentle exercise while your muscles are aching might actually help.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, I'm not sure I can help but I'll give it a whirl! It's been years since I walked for any distance without aids (I have two kinds of arthritis affecting my toes, ankles, knees and hips but I do recall my first physio telling me that as soon as a joint is affected we unconsciously alter the ways we move in an effort to reduce discomfort. This leads to tighter muscles and tendons and other joints being thrown out of kilter.

    I went to physio earlier this year to learn exercises to stretch my Achilles tendons (I had Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis in both feet) and they have improved my mobility. I am beginning to walk shorter distances without any sticks to make my muscles work better, and I concentrate on doing the heel - toe thing. OK, it hurts but that's not unusual in my life.

    You sound to be in some difficulty with your hips and although walking is good exercise it shouldn't be overdone. How far do you like to walk? Do you use a stick or walking pole to assist? I trust you wear good, sturdy shoes and proper socks as these will help to reduce the impact of each step. I still do my post-op exercises on a daily basis, and I do walk (thanks to the distraction of shopping :wink: ) but my days of rambling across the hills are long gone. You are doing the right thing in staying active but maybe you need to reduce the distances you travel and certainly have a good rest in between the trips. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Simol
    Like you I am 65 and have hip and back probs , I have just had my secone hip replaced so I am hoping they will be ok, but I have 3 disc in my back that need surgery, but I dont want to go down that rd yet
    I would say a day off in between exercise , this allow for some repair...if your legs are really aching while you exercise, just slow it down a little..but you do not need to get to the pain barrier..the main think is to keep moving sadly my hips had gone beyond this..good luck.. :)
  • Simol
    Simol Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you all so much for your very supportive comments full of good advice. I will continue with my exercise regime and make every effort to maintain the level of mobility I still enjoy. Best wishes.