Exercise and strengthening is recommended to maintain muscle balance and cardiovascular health as long as there isn’t too much load put on the hip joint. Running and impact sports are not recommended for people with hip dysplasia. Sports like golf and bowling are not likely to add damage the hip but there may be pain in certain positions.
Try to maintain upper body and trunk strength along with normal tone and strength in the hip and leg muscles. Also, weight management, and a modest activity level are helpful to protect the hip and preserve as much function as possible.
For cardiovascular fitness, we recommend upper body activities and trunk exercises instead of running, stair-climbing, or impact exercises. Swimming can emphasize upper body activities while the body weight is supported. Other activities like rowing, cycling, or tennis may be possible in moderation, but these can be difficult for arthritic hips because of stiffness and muscle actions that place loads across the hip joints.
Movements of the hip and gentle stretching exercises are recommended because motion may help lubricate and nourish the joint surfaces. Walking with a cane in the hand opposite the sore hip can also provide some physical activity in later stages of painful hip dysplasia. Depending on the level of dysplasia, you may benefit from one or two visits with a local Physical Therapist to teach you the correct way to exercise without causing damage to your hip.
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