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How To Treat A Recent Injury To Your Hip (3 Step Program)

This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in January of 2021. For the original video go to

Bob: Today we're going to show you how to treat a recent injury to your hip, it's a three step program. We thought this is a good topic that we want to cover all the bases in treating hip pain so this is the first part.

Brad: Exactly, it's like, “oh, you fell down, bumped your hip, it hurts, it's painful, what am I supposed to do?”

Bob: Yeah, now first off, you have to decide whether or not you're going to see the doctor. We did do a video called "Fifteen Signs You Need to See a Doctor Immediately". We're not going to go over that now, but you can look up that video on YouTube if you do have a question.

Brad: Exactly.

Bob: Now, let's say you've seen the doctor or you haven't seen the doctor, or you feel like you don't need to see him. The first thing you do, step one, in the first 24 to 48 hours you're going to apply ice to the hip because there's going to be pain and swelling and we want to try to get that to be under control.

Brad: So typically a cold pack about this size and you really need to get a cold pack that's flexible, malleable, when it comes out of the freezer, not one of those cold packs that is hard as a rock or, ice cubes in a bag works okay.

Bob: Eh, it works okay.

Brad: But these really work better and in positioning, you need to get very comfortable so that your hip is not painful before you put it on or it’s irritating it.

Bob: Yeah, Brad, you're bringing up a really good point. One, you don't want to lie on it, and two, you probably want to lie on your side with a pillow between your legs. That's probably the best position to be in.

Brad: I would say if a recliner reclined back feels very comfortable and it's not irritating it, that would be another option, too, where you could wrap that around there and you're going to leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes.

Bob: Yes, and you can do it every three hours if need be and you could use a bag of peas. Brad also has a recipe, the old Heineck recipe for making an icepack.

Brad: Yeah, I wouldn't say that because I didn't invent it, but I've used it with myself, my mother, and many, many, I'd say thousands of patients over the last 20 years. One cup of Alcohol, rubbing alcohol. Four cups of water and a gallon freezer bag, see our video, Bob & Brad on YouTube, "How to Make a Cold Pack".

Bob: Why don't you go ahead and do it right now, you just take the four cups of water, you take the one cup of rubbing alcohol, you put it in the freezer bag, the one-gallon freezer bag.

Brad: One-gallon freezer bag, not a storage bag.

Bob: Yeah, and then you get the air out, excess air out.

Brad: Yeah, zip it up, put it into a second one just because it makes it a little more protected.

Bob: So a second freezer bag.

Brad: Yep, get the air out of that one, zip it up, lie it, lie it or lay it?

Bob: Lay it down, that would be lay it down.

Brad: Lay it flat in the freezer, don't let it get crumpled up and it'll come out and it'll be like a slush and you can move it around, get it there, never put it directly on your skin. That's a big never, you want to have some cloth, usually just a pair of pants or something thin is adequate, if it's still too cold you can put another towel.

Bob: Yeah, I used to sometimes take a paper towel, even.

Brad: Oh sure.

Bob: It works sometimes, depending on the person.

Brad: Right, it depends if your skin's fragile or not. Older people typically need more insulation, another towel or two.

Bob: That's step number one, so you're going to put some ice on it, step number two, you're going to limit the activities that increase pain or swelling, so if you're walking and that increases pain or swelling, you're going to maybe want to use a cane or crutches. You're going to avoid hills and stairs. When you're using a cane, you're going to use it in the opposite hand.

Brad: All right, so, if this is my sore hip on my left, it's going to be in my right hand. Some people naturally would think, "Well, you put it in the same side," but you don't and then as you walk, the cane in the right hand goes in sequence with the left foot and then as you put weight through your left foot, you're putting it through your right hand and the biggest thing Bob and I both find is, don't think about the sequence, your body will do it automatically because when you walk, your opposite hand goes with the opposite leg naturally.

Bob: Now, here's a walking stick by Prime Stick. My wife when she hurt her knee, she used a walking stick and she really liked it. They're lightweight, they look a little bit less clinical, wouldn't you say, Brad. Some people don't want to be seen with a cane.

Brad: If you're one of those but you need a little support, a stick is the next best thing.

Bob: This cane, by the way, is called the Cyclone Cane, they sent it to us and it's a nice cane. It's got a nice handle, it's made well. it's actually made to grip this way, remember Brad?

Brad: Oh that's right. It is a nice handle.

Bob: The same company makes this, it's called the Prime Stick, but it's just lightweight, very good grip, we thought we'd put a little plug in for them. All right, so that's number two, you're going to limit the stress on that area and you're going to do that until it starts to feel a little better. Number three, the third step, you want to start some gentle movement as soon as possible. You really don't want it just to sit there and freeze up on you. It just makes pain worse.

Brad: Yep, we need to get the circulation going, keep that from turning into a stiff joint.

Bob: So, the one that we really, our go-to movement, is just gentle trunk rotations or hip rotations. You're going to lie on your back, you're going to bring your legs up like this, feet are flat on the bed or floor and you're just going to gently roll back and forth like this, and this is getting movement in the hip without putting a lot of stress on it.

Brad: This would be a good thing to do if you've been sleeping all night, your hip will probably stiffen up. Before you even get out of bed, do this gently to get that hip moving before you step on it and put weight on it.

Bob: Now let's say for instance, I do this, and it hurts this way, but it doesn't hurt this way. We're not going to move this way then, we're just going to go to the right now and after a while, we'll check the left again and see if it's any better, if it's not, we'll still keep going to the right.

Brad: Typically, you get things moving in the pain-free range, it expands and it starts to go into the painful range.

Bob: Yeah, it'll go back and forth further, Brad calls these, by the way, Windshield Wipers, and you can take the wipers farther and farther as time goes on, you can actually start going all the way to the end of the windshield. All right.

Brad: I just do that because people can remember that well.

Bob: Right, they relate to it, it's a good visual. The last thing, that's step number three, when the pain starts going down, you want to progress to one of our strength videos on how to strengthen the hip. Which reminds me, this video is part of a series of videos on hip pain. So if you go to, go to the Programs section and find the series on Hip, you'll find a lot of videos on strengthening the hip and you'll find other videos. You can watch any video you need, you don't have to watch all of them, each video has a print out along with it, including this one.

Brad: Right, so it's got a PDF, you can print it out of your printer at home and then you have a reminder of everything we went through so you don't have to go back and watch the video every time if you couldn't remember something.

Bob: And this is all free.

Brad: Absolutely.

Bob: We don't even ask for an e-mail.

Brad: That's exactly right.

Bob: Check it out.

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