Hip exercise


I have OA in my left hip and have been listed for a total hip replacement. Have a programme of stretches and strengthening excerises which I do daily but have trouble walking far (I limp all the time). How can I stop muscle wastage on my legs and are there any exercises I can do for cardio without using my legs?

I have pain relief but gp only gives me enough co-codamol (30/500) for two tablets a day and the same with naproxen. In all honesty I'm really struggling with all this. I'm 62 and retired.



  • ToneBlues
    ToneBlues Member Posts: 94

    Hi @Noiseresearch

    Welcome and thank you for joining our online community.

    I understand that you have osteoarthritis (OA) of your left hip and have been listed for a total hip replacement (THR). Meanwhile you have been given strengthening exercises, an anti-inflammatory (naproxen) and pain relief, and you want to know if you can do more exercise for your legs and more generally for your heart etc. I'm sorry to hear that you are struggling with this, but you will find this online community is full of good ideas and support from people with similar experiences.

    First off you will find lots of useful information about OA of the hip here -

    and this is more specifically about hip exercise (and other things you can do) to help control pain -

    I don't want to overwhelm you with information at the moment, but you may want to take a look at our "Let's Move" programme which may help you retain cardio health.

    Finally, you say that you are "struggling" - I have found this section very helpful in dealing with my arthritis.

    We are very glad that you have joined our online community - please ask for help any time - there is a wealth of knowledge on how to deal with arthritis amongst the members, and of course the Versus Arthritis website is packed full of useful information and resources.

    Very best wishes


  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,741

    Hi @Noiseresearch , I'm sorry to hear you're struggling. I was in the same position prior to my hip replacement, exercise was just too painful in the 12 months before my op, and I suspect that may have affected my rather slow recovery from surgery.

    The Let's Move with Leon programme that ToneBlues suggests is helpful, and quite good fun, and you can make it as gentle as you need it to be. I understand from my physio that swimming can also be helpful both for muscle tone and for cardio, but only you will know whether your hip will let you do that (it wasn't an option for me during lockdown).

    You might find it helpful to have a few private sessions with a good physio to develope an exercise regime that works for you. The NHS waiting list for limited sessions is too long to contemplate, and private physios aren't that expensive in the scheme of things.

    You don't say why your GP is restricting your pain meds. I needed to keep working when restrictions allowed, and my job can be quite physical, so upping my meds during and after busy days was all that kept me functioning. I have to say the resulting constipation was challenging, but careful juggling of laxatives sorted that. I was allowed up to 8 x 30/500 cocodamol and 2 x naproxen, but I stepped it down during less active times.

    But ultimately even this stopped me walking. I went from being a fit fell walker to just about getting round a supermarket, in considerable pain, in 12 months. There isn't an easy answer I'm afraid, when your joint is goosed, it's goosed. Have you been referred for hip replacement or steroid injections yet? Meanwhile it might also be worth asking to be referred to a pain clinic to manage your pain and keep you more active.

    Hope this helps. Arthritis can be really miserable sometimes. Keep coming on here for tips or just a moan, we all know how rubbish this can get.

  • Coddfish
    Coddfish Member Posts: 85

    Sorry to hear you are struggling @Noiseresearch. I am 64, female, and had my right hip replaced on September 7th. Although I had had signs of osteoarthritis for some time, the situation didn’t become unmanageable until April / May this year. I had been a regular runner until then. Oddly I had been able to continue running even as walking started to become difficult because the gait is different (you don’t heel strike when running). I have always been a keen swimmer and also enjoyed aqua classes, and found these two activities, plus continuing load bearing gym work with weights, were doable right up to surgery and enabled me to maintain a good level of fitness prior to my operation. The gym work did need to be continually adapted to work with the function I had, particularly over the last few weeks before surgery. I found I couldn’t keep cardio fitness quite as high as I wanted to but my muscle strength and bone density remained good. Static cycling is an option for some people although my issue meant my right leg was permanently in abduction so I could not do this without my heel forever catching on the machine.

    I hope you don’t have to wait too long for surgery. Surgery has been an absolute game changer for me. The fitness I had held onto has allowed me to bounce back very well. 7 weeks on from surgery and I feel close to normal except that I haven’t gone back to running yet (I am leaving that until 2022 to allow further healing).

  • RogerBill
    RogerBill Member Posts: 223

    Hi @Noiseresearch I was in a similar situation until having a hip replacement five weeks ago. Although for seven months I couldn't walk more than ten minutes I was fortunate in being able to manage various exercises including short sessions on an exercise bike. Initially I used exercise programmes given to me by the NHS Physio service which is run by Dynamichealth in Cambridgeshire. I then found exercises on Lou Grant's website suited me better. She's a physiotherapist based in Leeds who had a hip replacement operation herself a few years ago and there are also quite a few useful videos on her website about her recovery from the operation.

  • Noiseresearch

    Thanks everyone for your kind words and comment so far, will investigate further 😊