A recent study suggests that people with hip arthritis may fare better if they force themselves to remain as active as possible, even if the exercise causes some pain. Take pain medicine as necessary before exercising. There is no evidence that being active will cause a more rapid deterioration of your arthritic hip. Being active is important for your general health and mental well-being. It also keeps your muscles strong, and this will speed your recovery after surgery. You are the best judge of what you can do. Remain as active as your pain will allow you to be until you decide to proceed with surgery.
Walking a treadmill or jogging will usually aggravate hip pain. The best all-around exercise for you is swimming. The water relieves the stress on your hip as you “walk” about in the shallow end of the pool. Lap swimming is excellent – it involves the use of most of your body muscles. Dr. Hirshorn can prescribe a program of “pool therapy” for you if it is available in your area. Bicycling (stationary or mobile) is also well tolerated. If you do not have access to an exercise bike or pool, then walk as much as you can tolerate without causing yourself excessive pain.