Exercises and Drills that Helped me Avoid Hip Replacement Surgery

I’m pain free with improved mobility after a physician told me “you’ll have to get a full artificial hip” in November 2019. With a long scout excursion planned to Philmont this summer I’ve been extending the different exercises I do to maintain and improve mobility. Of course, it all starts with regular abdominal / core work outs. These three videos and another two from Taro Iwamoto are here.

Exercise #1: Standing Hip Opener

It was also good to do this standing, but bent over at the hips with hands on a bench or bar to ensure that your body doesn’t rotate while performing the exercise. I started with the tight side (for me, the left side), did 5 reps, then to the other side x5 = 1 set. 2.5 sets per day, twice a day.

Exercise #2: Weighted Kettlebell Hip Opener

This really helped with strength. I did it on a tumbling mat. In some ways, he does the exercise as an extremely scaled down version of the Ben Patrick of ATG (Knees over toes guy) split squat. You’re already on the ground performing the smallest amount of movement to push the boundary of your range of motion. I can do a split squat with my right hip – the ‘good’ one – but the weighted KB hip opener on the left has really served as a very basic version of a split squat for the left side, where my range of motion is limited.

Exercise #3: Hip CARs

This was my first exposure to Tom Morrison and his Controlled Articulated Rotations (aka “CARs”), and it’s been very helpful. The first time lead to cramping almost right away, even with very limited range of motion. I’ve now been playing with modifications of this from a quadriped position, and also starting with my back on a bench.

What’s next?

Could a hip replacement be needed in the future? Maybe, but I hope not. I’ve gone from chronic pain, limited range of motion and limited endurance for walking / standing back to a regular, pain free life. It has not been easy, however in many ways the work that I’ve done is similar to what would be required to recover from such a surgery.


Answered questions:

  • How can I avoid hip surgery?
  • Do I need an artificial hip?
  • What physical therapy reduces the need for hip surgery?
  • How do I reduce hip pain?
  • Can exercise replace hip surgery?
  • What exercises reduce hip pain?
  • Is an artificial hip the only way to reduce pain? Can hip pain go away without surgery?

About flybrand1976

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