Senior Fitness and Hip Health: Guest Post By Elizabeth Carrollton For DrugWatch

Stretching for seniors from http://fittplan.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/stretchingforseniors.jpgKeeping fit and staying active are more important than ever once you reach the senior years. Fitness is essential for overall health and well-being, as well as the prevention and treatment of a variety of diseases and health conditions that become more likely after the age of 65. Hip health is particularly important during the senior years, since hip injuries and chronic joint problems occur at a higher rate in people in this age group and are a leading cause of limited mobility, disability and hip replacement procedures.

Fitness for Seniors

An active lifestyle during the senior years benefits your body from head to toe. You’ll feel more energetic with regular exercise and be less prone to depression, and physical activity has been shown to enhance mental alertness, improve memory and reduce dementia risk. Exercise lowers your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Regular physical activity helps keep bones strong, slowing age-related bone loss that can lead to osteoporosis, and can aid in the prevention of chronic joint problems, like osteoarthritis¬†of the knee or hip, or slow their progression in joints that are already affected.

Why Hip Health is Essential

If you are 65 or older, you probably know at least one person who has trouble getting around due to hip problems, such as osteoarthritis, hip fractures, chronic hip pain and joint deterioration. By taking good care of your hips, you can reduce your risk of having these problems.

More than 325,000 hip replacement procedures are performed every year in the United States, and the majority of them are done in seniors. While these procedures have been a blessing for many, restoring mobility and relieving chronic pain, there are risks involved in any surgery. Over the last few years, there have been more problems than usual with these procedures, due to poorly designed or defective hip replacement components that result in premature implant failures and serious complications. These problems have primarily affected patients who were fitted with metal-on-metal implants, and several of these products have been recalled, including the DePuy ASR, Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II, and Zimmer Durom Cup.

Among the most common complications associated with these devices are metallosis and osteolysis, serious conditions that involve contamination of soft tissues around the hip by implant debris. Metallosis can cause severe pain and inflammation near the implant site, while osteolysis can result in bone loss around the implant, causing implant loosening or failure as well as additional damage to the joint. Revision surgery has been necessary for many patients, and there has been a flurry of hip replacement lawsuits filed by patients injured by these products.

Maintaining Fitness and Hip Health

Avoiding hip replacement doesn’t have to mean sweating it out for hours every day. Simple, low-impact exercise that you enjoy is the way to go to keep the muscles and connective tissues surrounding the hip in good shape. Walking, bike-riding, swimming and stair climbing are great, but high-impact activities that involve running and jumping are best avoided no matter how fit you are, since pounding and pressure on the joints can do more harm than good. Light weight-lifting is excellent as well, strengthening muscles and bones. However, make sure you check with your doctor before you begin a new fitness plan.

Elizabeth Carrollton writes about defective medical devices and dangerous drugs for Drugwatch.com.

 

Comments

  1. What a great article hopefully lots of people will read this I own a health and fitness website for the over 40 year olds so a bit younger crowd but the principle remains the same. One little benefit of exercising is you get a great nights sleep. I wish you great success with this article

    • Hi Kevin, you do! You sleep much better, feel better, eat better, love better, and all that stuff. Sometimes you feel a bit stiff in the morning, but then, after a water polo match in my teens I was a bit stiff in the morning – I think that we forget such memories and exaggerate the stresses of exercise in our aging minds (which can also stay young), and use this illusion as an excuse to become a lard ass. Thanks for your comment, keep up the good work. -k (FitOldDog)

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.