Physical therapist says many hips hurt at an earlier age

Karen Joubert is a doctor of physical therapy, so she sees her share of aches and pains. But when it comes to hip pain, she's got some sobering stats.

"Hip replacements have more than doubled since 2000 and it's not with the older patients, it's with the 45 to 55 crowd," said Joubert.

She sees many who are pushing too hard in their workouts, but she also sees another challenge: being sedentary. Sitting creates tight hamstrings which can wreak havoc on hips. They take the brunt of the stress and tighten up.

"Often gets misdiagnosed as lower back pain. If your hip is really tight, the joint above the joint below is going to take over," reminded Joubert.

Hip surgery is less invasive these days and there are also better techniques for rehab.

Actually, Joubert likes to "Pre-hab," preventative exercises that support healthy hips.

If you've had a hip issue, most likely a clam shell exercise has been given to you. Joubert said it's a fine exercise but now there's a much better way to execute it.

"The problem is laying on your side and doing your exercises. You're really just putting this ball in the socket and grinding it. It's actually adding insult to injury so we're really changing the way we do a lot of these exercises," said Joubert.

So don't take those exercises lying down. Joubert said it's time to get vertical.

She reminds patients to find their center of balance when standing on one leg, which in turn helps turn on the core, the glutes, and allows the leg and hip to work better.

Another smart hip tip: cross train, hike, swim, strength train, or just walk. Getting small bouts of movement every day will help you prevent prevent pain.
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