How to Relieve Hip Pain

A 2023 review published in the journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage Open found that regular activity improved pain and function for people with hip OA.

With your doctor’s okay, opt for low-impact activities such as walking and cycling. Swimming and water aerobics are also good ideas, says Ilda Molloy, MD, a hip specialist at Yale Medicine in New Haven, Conn., because the water reduces pressure on your hip joints. Activities that encourage flexibility and stretching, like gentle forms of yoga and tai chi, can be helpful, too, she adds.

Additionally, a few simple moves can improve the strength of your hips, says Kristin Barker, DPT, a physical therapist at NYU Langone Health. She recommends doing two to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions of the following exercises every other day:

Chair stand. Stand up from a chair without using your hands to push yourself up. “It activates your glutes and hamstrings, muscles you need for walking with long strides and climbing stairs,” Barker says.

Sideways walk. Face a kitchen counter (hold on if necessary) and take wide steps from side to side. This strengthens hip abductor muscles to improve stability. As you get stronger, you can add resistance bands.

Thigh squeeze. Sitting at the edge of a chair, place a large rolled-up towel between your knees. Focus on squeezing it as you stand. This strengthens inner thigh muscles, which helps stabilize the pelvis.