By Matt Lalande in Personal Injury on January 07, 2022
Hip pain after an accident, particularly a car accident, is a common occurrence we have seen as Hamilton personal injury lawyers. Whether or not you suffer catastrophic, life-changing injuries or minor short-term injuries, there is often residual pain a victim may suffer in the aftermath of an accident.
Living with hip pain can make everyday activities increasingly difficult. The hip is one of the body’s most load-bearing joints, and plays a central role in walking and moving. Anytime you experience the force of a substantial impact, such as a car accident or slip and fall, your hip is vulnerable to injury and takes longer to heal than other areas of the body. Further, due to the load-bearing nature of the hip joint, this area is more susceptible for developing conditions such as osteoporosis, which can lead to higher risk of severe orthopedic injuries in the event of an accident.
When recovering from hip pain that doesn’t require surgery, there are multiple at-home options you can utilize to relieve some of the pain you are experiencing. However, it’s important that you always consult with your rehabilitation team, physical therapist, or health care provider before you make any changes to your recovery routine.
Traumatic hip fractures are most common in T-bone or side-impact accidents. These types of accidents normally happen when someone fails to yield, stop, or when an at-fault driver fails to give the thru person the right of way. Often times, T-bone accidents happen when at-fault drivers or distracted are not paying attention.
What injuries can occur during a side-impact collision?
No matter if it’s the driver or passenger that’s hit, the injuries can be devastating. Side-impact collisions can result in victims suffering from head trauma, knee injuries and almost always – hip trauma. Well front and rear crashes allow more protection because the hood or trunk absorbs most of the energy, the only thing separating a motor is not paying attention in the victim during the collision is a thin door. Although side airbags and stronger vehicle structures have no doubt increase the protection in side-impact collisions over the past few years, there are countless studies which show that side-impact collisions, or T-bone crashes, result in increased injuries, fatalities, are the most deadliest for children – and are mostly the cause of serious traumatic hip injuries.
1. Cold and Heat Therapy
Heat therapy, such as a warm steamy shower or a heating pad, can help loosen sore muscles. Applying warmth to your hip before stretching is also a good way to prepare your muscles for activity and reduce the risk of overextension. However, if your hip pain is caused by bursitis, do not use heat therapy as this condition may worsen with heat.
Cold therapy, such as ice packs, can help reduce pain when applied directly to the hip. You can almost always find something around the home to utilize for cold therapy, such as putting ice in a ziplock bag or using a bag of frozen vegetables. Regardless of what you choose to use, be sure to wrap it in a towel to avoid skin irritation. Try to ice the area for 15 minutes at a time, and do this multiple times per day. If the pain is serious, aim to do this four to five times a day.
2. Stretching and Low-Impact Exercises
When hip pain is caused by an injury such as a strained muscle, pinched nerve, or a sprain, stretching exercises can help with reducing the pain as well as healing the injury. Stretching can also help improve your range of motion, prevent muscles from becoming stiff, and increase flexibility. If you are capable of performing some light activity, such as if your pain symptoms are mild, this can be helpful in improving your range of motion, managing weight, and reducing pain through muscle movement.
Yoga is a great way to perform stretching and breathing exercises in a slow, manageable pace. There are a variety of yoga poses and positions that directly benefit the hip. Further, poses that target the thighs can also be helpful because the thighs play a significant role in supporting the hips.
Other stretching and low-impact exercises that can benefit hip pain recovery include:
Avoid high-impact activities such as running, jumping, and anything that requires you to move your leg away from your body in a position that pulls the hip.
As with any exercise-based routine, be sure to stop at any point if you begin to feel sharp pain. If your injuries are serious, be sure to discuss any stretching exercises or routines with your physiotherapist before you start them. Your recovery team may be able to provide more targeted movements and specialized plans tailored to your specific condition to help you get back on your feet as soon as possible.
3. Over-the-Counter Pain Medication
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Tylenol) or naproxen sodium (Aleve) can be helpful when the hip pain becomes unbearable or uncomfortable. If your injuries or any pre-existing conditions prevent you from taking anti-inflammatory medications, acetaminophen (Advil) may provide some relief as well.
Before taking any medication for pain, it’s best to consult with your healthcare provider to ensure that they are safe to take. There are always side effects and risks associated with any medication or treatment, and it’s best to ensure you receive the right information before you make any decisions.
In addition to medication, there are also topical ointments available that can assist in relieving pain by warming, cooling, or numbing the area. Be sure to check ingredients in any topical solutions and consult with your doctor before applying them.
4. Rest as Much as Possible
Not only do your hips carry the load of your entire body, but they also carry the weight of anything you lift or pull. After an accident, you may be tempted to try to throw yourself back into the activities you once enjoyed or to make up for lost time at work. However, returning to these activities too quickly can make your hip pain worse and disrupt your healing progress.
Take the pressure and weight off your hip and allow yourself enough time to rest and recover. Avoid laying on the injured side or using it excessively. Do not feel guilty for letting yourself take time off and relax. Experiencing stress while you are in recovery from any type of injury can add more time to your healing process and cause psychological complications. You should only attempt physical exercises if and when you feel that you are ready.
5. Eat a Healthy Diet
Recovering from hip pain requires a more sedentary lifestyle and reduction in physical activity, which can lead to weight gain. Body weight has a direct impact on the hips, as the hips are responsible for carrying the body’s weight. Therefore, gaining weight increases pressure on the hip joints and can result in additional pain, and losing even 5 or 10 pounds could make a difference in your recovery process.
Managing a healthy diet can allow you to manage your health and weight and ensure your body has the nutrients it needs to maximize healing and recovery. This is especially important if you cannot or do not want to use anti-inflammatory medications or drugs.
Some nutrients and ingredients in particular can be helpful for hip pain, including:
Omega-3 fatty acids: Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help manage pain, as omega-3 fatty acids contain natural anti-inflammatory properties and have been linked to joint and bone health. Omega-3s can be found in foods such as nuts, fish, olive oil, and chia seeds.
Capsaicin: The compound that gives hot peppers their spicy touch is also a beneficial ingredient in managing pain. Capsaicin alters the way that the brain perceives pain by blocking the neurotransmitters that send pain signals to the body. In doing so, pain symptoms can be temporarily relieved. There are also topical ointments available that use capsaicin to warm the area and relieve pain.
Cruciferous vegetables: Also known as brassica vegetables, these foods block the enzymes in the body that leads to joint swelling and can therefore reduce swelling and pain. These vegetables include brussels sprouts, leafy greens, purple cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and kale.
Foods rich in anti-inflammatory antioxidants: These foods include tomatoes, lentils, beans, garlic, ginger, dark chocolate, green tea, and turmeric. Anti-inflammatory antioxidants can also be found in some fruits such as berries, plums, pineapples, and apples.
Here are some additional quick tips you can also follow when suffering or recovering from hip pain after an accident:
Our Hamilton Car Accident Lawyers have helped recover millions in compensation for car accident victims since 2003. At Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers, we understand the pain and suffering you are going through and are dedicated to helping you along your journey in any way we can.
We know you’re suffering physically, financially, and emotionally. The last thing you want to worry about when you’re experiencing severe pain is paying your bills, thinking about who will provide for the household, or how you will care for your family. That’s why we fight to make sure you get the maximum amount of compensation to which you are entitled, and we do not charge any fees until you win your case. If you don’t win, we don’t get paid.
Book a free consultation with us and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and provide you with helpful, transparent advice regardless of whether or not you intend to retain our services. Call us no matter where you are in Ontario at 1-844-LALANDE or local in the Hamilton/Burlington/Niagara areas at 905-333-8888 today.
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*All Information was taken from peer review published articles at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ and https://www.asirt.org/