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Last updated March 11, 2017 (originally published March 15, 2010)


By Susan Callahan, Health Editor and Featured Columnist



Over 7 million Americans are living with either a knee or a
hip replacement, according to the first prevalence study on
the issue. The study,  from the Mayo Clinic presented at the
March 2014 at the annual meeting of the American Academy
of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) in New Orleans,
also found that over 1 million of these surgeries are
performed each year. Why are so many of us getting hip
replacements. Is there anything we can do now to reduce
our chances of needing a hip replacement?

Hip Replacements Are the Last Resort Fix for Osteoporosis


Osteoporosis is the most common reason for hip
replacements. In order of their importance, these are the 4
most common causes of hip replacement, according to the
National Institute of Health's National Institute of Arthritis
and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases:

  • Arthritis.
  • Disease that causes the bone in joints to die.
  • Injuries or fractures.
  • Bone tumors that break down the hip joint.

Before you are recommended for hip replacement, less
invasive remedies and strategies usually are suggested,
including use of a walker or other walking aids. Your doctor
may also recommend changes in your lifestyle. If he or she
does, pay close attention.

Exercise Actually Helps to Prevent Hip Replacements,
Scientists Have Found





























If you are suffering from osteoarthritis, when every step can
be painful, about the last thing you want to hear is that
exercise --- exercise --- is the best way to prevent further
deterioration.

But it's true. This is the finding from a 2013 study led by Ida
Svege from Norwegian Research Centre for Active
Rehabilitation at Oslo University Hospital in Norway and
published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Compared to those who do not exercise, people who
exercise for one hour at least twice a week for 12 weeks are
44 percent less likely to need hip replacement surgery.


The study looked at 109 men and women between the ages
of 40 and 80 years. All of the participants had mild to
moderate osteoarthritis in the hip, and none had planned hip
replacement surgery.
The participants were divided into two
groups, one of which received only education and the other
participated in the exercize program.


After the 12 week exercise program, th
e participants were
followed for 6 years. At the end of the study,
a total of 53 of
the 109 people had to have hip surgery.  A total of 31 of
those who had not followed an exercise program had hip
surgery, while only 21 of those who had exercised needed
hip surgery.



Can You Strengthen Your Hips Even After You Have
Osteoarthritis?


You can strengthen the muscles supporting the hip even
after you have osteoarthritis. For best results, you should
see a physiotherapist.

As a general matter, you can support your hips by improving
your balance and by strengthening the muscles around your
hip.

One of the best ways to improve balance is to simply stand
on one leg. If you are unaccustomed to standing on one leg,
always do so near a point of support such as a wall or heavy
furniture, in case you lose your balance.

You should also practice, if possible, only when someone
else is in the house, again, in case you fall.

Strengthening your hip muscles should be done gradually.
Walking is a gentle way to strengthen the hip muscles.
Walking up a short flight of stairs, if possible, will help
strengthen your gluteus maximus, upper legs and calves.


Do not overstretch your hip as you begin your exercise
program. And do support your efforts by giving your self
warm compresses and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory
painkillers.




Consider Adding Boron and Gouda Cheese to Strengthen
Your Bones



All of us have heard that calcium and Vitamin D are
necessary for strong bones.

Less well known is the importance of boron, a little mineral
found in   and Vitamin K2. Both are critical to sustaining and
building bone structure.

Gouda cheese is one of the only foods rich in Vitamin K2.



These foods will help strengthen the shaft of the bone. They
will  not, however, improve cartilage between the joints.




EHA, an Omega-3 Fatty Acid, Prevents Degradation of
Cartillage



Numerous studies have found that certain omega-3 fatty
acids protect the cartilage between joints. A 2016 study
from Queen Mary University of London, is one of the latest.

In this study cartilage samples were treated with compunds
that cause inflammation when they appear in your body. ,
These compounds include  proinflammatory cytokines, such
as interleukin (IL)-1β.

Left unchecked, the pro-inflammatory compounds trigger a
two<-step process that leads to cartilage breakdown. First,
they trigger the production of "matrix metalloproteinases",
which lead in turn to the degradation of the cartilage
extracellular matrix and the loss of key structural
components such as sulphated glycosaminoglycan  and
collagen II.


Enter omega-3 fatty acids. Adding omega-3 fatty acids,
namely eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic
acid (DHA) at various strengths blokced the inflammatory
cascade that would otherwise have caused cartilage loss.

Interesting, the omega-3 fatty acids were tested at strengths
of  0.1, 1 and 10 μM, and while all were effective to some
degree, the least effective was the largest dosage.

This suggests that more is not necessarily better when it
comes to using omega-3 fatty acids to improve hip function.

Everyone's body is different. Try a low level to start and
adjust it as your hip pain and function improve. Personally, I
use krill oil as my source of omega-3 fatty acids and have
found that a single pill per day 40mg DHA and 70mg EPA is
effective in stopping cartilage-related pain. If I stop the krill,
it seems to take about 2 to 3 days to build up enough in my
system to be effective.


Lose Weight or Maintain Ideal Body Weight to Lessen Wear
and Tear on Your Hips



Stop me if you've heard this one --- losing weight takes the
strain off your hip and knee joints. Losing even 5 pounds
can help tremendously, since your hip joint bears much of
the weight of your upper body as you walk and move
around.

Harvard Health estimates that a 200 pound man puts 300
pounds of pressure on each knee with each step. That is the
same amount of pressure your hips bear. For each pound,
your hips and knees bear 1.5 times that much with each
step. So; losing just 5 pounds will lighten the load on your
hips by 7.5 pounds with each step. If you walk the
recommended 10,000 steps per day, that is a difference of
75,000 fewer pounds of pressure to carry around.



















































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