Habits That Can Damage Your Hips

It's common knowledge that being overweight isn’t good for your overall health, or for your bones. It’s your hips and knees that suffer the most.
Habits That Can Damage Your Hips
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Pain in the hip joints is far more common in women than in men. The risk of a possible hip fracture usually increases as we age, so it’s really important to know how to avoid certain habits that can damage your hips.

If you’re already experiencing stinging or pain in the lower back that reaches your buttocks, or if you feel sharp pains in your hip while walking or climbing stairs, pay attention to the information in today’s article on habits that can damage your hips.

Check with your doctor about any problems and don’t be afraid to change your daily habits to improve your overall quality of life.

What habits can damage your hips?

First of all, we want to point out that much of the time there’s a strong hereditary component to hip pain. Diseases like arthritis and even osteoporosis are everyday factors that will deteriorate the health of your bones and joints.

If you know that your family has a history of hip pain and wear on the hip joint, then knowing how to improve your habits and hip health is crucial.

It’s essential that you maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Following these preventative guidelines can also help you avoid suffering from this all-too-common problem.

Let’s find out more about the habits that can damage your hips.

1. A sedentary lifestyle

No doubt you knew this already. What’s ironic is that, in spite of knowing all the ways that lifestyle affects our bones, people choose not to improve their quality of life.

How many hours a day do you spend sitting down? And how many hours do you spend standing in the same position? Remember that your hips are part of a complex joint that is easily overloaded.

How often, for example, do you get out of bed and notice a sudden snapping in your hip? Another common sensation is a sting at the end of the day that radiates toward the abdomen or buttocks.

So remember: leading a sedentary lifestyle is one of the greatest enemies to your bone and joint health.

2. Poor diet

You might have tried lots of different weight loss diets in your life, but are you careful to give your body the nutrients it needs? Including adequate amounts of calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium?

Women frequently tend to not get enough of these three minerals. If you don’t get adequate nutrients, then your bones and joints will eventually lose density, and hip problems can appear.

Habits That Can Damage Your Hips

Be careful when consuming soft drinks, sweets, coffee, chocolate, alcohol, tobacco, and even red meats. They cause the body to lose magnesium and also contain amino acids that trigger a loss of calcium through the urine.

Always be careful with your diet. Think about whether what you’re eating is good for the health of your bones, or whether it’s potentially damaging.

3. Regularly wearing high heels

Habits That Can Damage Your Hips

Wearing heels on a regular basis puts strain on the postural axis, causing damage to the lower back and, as a result, your hips.

Maybe your work environment requires the use of high heels, but try not to wear anything higher than two inches. Heels that are higher than that can cause serious injury.

4. Beware of falling

You already know that the risk of a broken hip increases with age, when you’ve already lost some bone mass and the hip joint is fragile. But be careful with other things, as well: sometimes just a wrong step can cause a hip tear.

It doesn’t matter if you’re 20 or 40 years old – there’s no particular age for this kind of injury. If it’s not properly cared for, you can have more serious complications later in life.

If you’re the kind of person who likes to run a lot or play certain sports, always wear good shoes and try to avoid putting too much strain on your body.

How can you take better care of your hips?

  • Increase your intake of magnesium and calcium. You can find these minerals in lots of foods, but if you have a history of hip problems in your family you can also ask your doctor to prescribe a supplement. Pharmacies contain many different medications that can help increase the levels of these essential minerals to nourish and strengthen the bones.
  • Try doing healthier physical activities, like swimming. If you have access to a pool, you should practice some pool exercises once a week. These are ideal for strengthening the bones, muscles, and joints, and you’ll come home feeling refreshed and relaxed!
  • Always watch your weight. Being obese or even overweight by a few pounds is a direct enemy to hip health and to the knees, as well. It’s literally “extra” weight they have to bear and it hinders proper movements. Try to maintain a healthy weight and eat a varied and nutritious diet. If you find that over the years your metabolism is slowing down and making it harder to maintain that weight, see a nutritionist. Your body is worth it!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Brooks AG, Redmond J, Domb BG. Hip diagnosis and decision making. In: Miller MD, Thompson SR, eds. DeLee and Drez’s Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 80.
  • Guyton JL. Hip pain in the young adult and hip preservation surgery. In: Azar FM, Beaty JH, Canale ST, eds. Campbell’s Operative Orthopaedics. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 6.
  • Buckley L, Guyatt G, Fink HA, Cannon M, Grossman J, Hansen KE, et al. 2017 American College of Rheumatology Guideline for the Prevention and Treatment of Glucocorticoid-Induced Osteoporosis. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2017;69(8):1521-1537

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.