Hip pain can be a formidable hurdle to overcome, not just because of the discomfort itself, but because hip pain can restrict mobility and overall movement. The good news is that there are a variety of supplements for hip pain that are proven to help.
Our hips are used for so many movements, from walking, to climbing, to sitting and standing up. That’s why it’s so important to find treatments and supplements for hip pain that work – so you can get back to pain-free and non-restricted days.
But what is the best supplement for hip pain? Are there specific supplements for hip arthritis? Why do you have hip pain in the first place? Today we will attempt to answer all those questions and more.
We hope to provide some clear advice about supplements for hip pain that actually work. But before we do, let’s discuss why your hip(s) might be ailing you.
What causes hip pain?
Causes of hip pain vary based on the part of the hip that causes trouble, as the hip is a connection point for many body parts. The location of hip pain is often a main factor in diagnosing your health issue.
The most prevalent cause of hip pain is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is when your cartilage breaks down and the bones in your hip joint start to grind together – creating inflammation and pain.
Cartilage doesn’t have a traditional blood flow network, which is why cartilage is slow to heal. In fact, it is very difficult to reverse cartilage loss or damage.
So how do we find hip arthritis pain relief?
One of the few things that can help is collagen, since your cartilage is made of collagen-rich tissue. This makes collagen one of the most popular supplements for hip arthritis.
Not all hip pain is caused by arthritis though. Other causes of hip pain come from inflammation of areas of the joint, often as a result of overuse. If you’ve suffered an injury to the hip in the past, you may also be more susceptible to re-injury.
Hip pain may be more prevalent as we get older, often due to reduced natural collagen production.
Our collagen production slows down starting in our mid-20s, and with less and less collagen protein, our body has a hard time building new tissue fibers for collagen-rich cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and muscles.
This means we take longer to heal, end up with more aches and pains, and our joints don’t function quite as well as they used to.
Does hip pain always require surgery?
Not all hip pain requires surgery, which is why we’ve written this blog on supplements for hip pain! But you should always consult with a doctor before resorting to home remedies, as they can help you decide the best hip pain treatment for your specific case.
Surgery is not usually the first choice when a patient experiences hip pain. Most doctors will only consider it if it’s the obvious answer (such as with a wound or fully torn ligament) or if you have exhausted your other (less invasive) options.
It’s easy to learn how to relieve hip and knee pain without surgery in many cases, but it’s important to get the all-clear from a health professional first.
Can nutrition improve hip pain?
Good nutrition has always been, and will always be, a key pillar of a healthy life. Food is our primary source of energy, as well as the main source of the macronutrients needed to stock up our bodies so they can take care of themselves.
Supplements take nutrition one step further. If you’re new to supplements for hip pain, or supplements in general, one common misconception is that they aim to replace a good diet.
Supplements for hip pain do not replace a healthy diet. They should be used in addition to a balanced diet.
Supplements can provide targeted macronutrients that your body needs to help it recover from hip issues.
Now that you understand hip pain a little bit better, it’s time to see which supplements are generally recommended to help reduce hip pain.
The top 10 supplements for hip pain
When creating our list of supplements for hip pain, we opted for supplements that provide the body with the materials it needs to rebuild and rejuvenate itself.
An alternative route to reducing hip pain is to reduce inflammation in the joint. Supplements such as turmeric, ginger, bromelain, devil’s claw, boswellia, and piperine are all considered as supplements for hip pain that reduce inflammation.
These supplements are perhaps best considered as “on-hand” supplements for when pain flares up unexpectedly, whereas the supplements for hip pain on our list are best considered as regular supplementation to accompany a healthy diet.
Here are our favorite supplements for hip pain – all backed by science:
If you had to choose just one supplement on this list, the best supplement for hip pain would be collagen protein. That’s why it’s number one on our list of supplements for hip pain.
While once simply touted as a beauty supplement, taking collagen for joints has become more and more popular in recent years – and for good reason!
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, and you need a lot of it in your diet to ensure your body functions optimally. Considering our collagen levels deplete with age, taking supplemental collagen for hip pain may be your best bet for ensuring adequate collagen levels.
Cartilage, tendons, and ligaments are largely made from collagen protein, so keeping stocked up with adequate levels of collagen is great for fighting against hip pain.
We mentioned above that collagen is one of the best supplements for hip arthritis, but it’s also responsible for making your tissues both strong and flexible, so it can help to prevent hip injuries, and even speed up wound healing after an injury.
2. Vitamin C
Well-known for its health applications around the body, vitamin C can also be considered as a supplement for hip pain. Why? Vitamin C helps with collagen synthesis, so it joins the building and maintenance effort to keep joints strong and flexible.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, and also plays a role in your body’s immune system. According to studies, vitamin C may moderate the autoimmune response in rheumatoid arthritis, which can keep the condition from getting worse.
3. Vitamin D
Vitamin D also plays a role in preventing joint pain, so it makes our list of supplements for hip pain. Vitamin D provides solid bone health, and because of this, some research suggests that taking a vitamin D supplement may help with arthritis pain.
Vitamin D also naturally aids the retention of calcium, which is beneficial for your joint health.
Make sure to check with your doctor before supplementing with vitamin D, as it can interact with several medications.
3. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is another great supplement for hip pain. Some research has indicated that vitamin E may slow the progression of osteoarthritis – and even promote the growth of new cartilage cells.
Consider carefully and get expert advice before supplementing vitamin E as it can interact with some blood thinners, which is something you definitely want to avoid if that applies to you.
4. Vitamin K
Vitamin K helps keep your cartilage and bone functioning properly. As such, it's a very important vitamin for your joints, especially your hip.
If you have low levels of vitamin K, you may experience an increased progression of osteoarthritis, and studies suggest that supplementation with vitamin K can be helpful in battling arthritis symptoms, earning a spot on our list of supplements for hip pain.
Our list of supplements for hip pain now moves from vitamins to minerals. You’re probably familiar with calcium as a primary ingredient in bones, and our skeletal system as a whole. Having strong bones is a cornerstone of having strong joints, and the hip is no exception.
Therefore it’s no surprise that if you have a calcium deficiency, you are at a much higher risk of osteoporosis and osteomalacia, which can cause rickets.
Calcium can be found in our diets in dairy products, but if you have a lactose intolerance, supplementing calcium can be a good way to protect your bones and prevent hip pain.
Let’s return to cartilage-focused supplements, starting with Glucosamine.
Glucosamine is one of the components in your cartilage that helps your joints function. Because it’s naturally found in your body, it is considered safe to supplement with. Studies have found that glucosamine supplements may help relieve some pain from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Like collagen supplements, you’re providing the body with the specific materials that it uses to naturally treat the causes of hip pain, making it a wise supplement choice.
If you are currently taking blood thinners, you should talk with your doctor before supplementing with glucosamine, as there could be a risk of interaction.
Like glucosamine, chondroitin is naturally found in cartilage. Research has found that chondroitin can improve joint pain and stiffness.
Further good news is that chondroitin may also slow down the progression of osteoarthritis when taken long-term. When taken long-term, chondroitin can significantly slow the narrowing of your joint space.
S-adenosyl-L-methionine may not be a catchy name, but it warrants a place on our list of supplements for hip pain. Why? S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe) is a supplement that is popular for combating osteoarthritis.
SAMe is naturally produced in your liver, and like glucosamine and chondroitin, it helps to produce and repair cartilage. When taken regularly as a supplement, SAMe can improve the health of your cartilage and reduce inflammation and pain caused by arthritis.
9. Avocado-soybean unsaponifiables
Another mouthful, but nevertheless promising, avocado-soybean unsaponifiables (ASUs) are a type of extract from avocado and soybean oils.
ASUs are thought to help prevent the breakdown of cartilage, and even repair damaged cartilage. This makes ASUs one of the most promising items in our list of supplements for hip pain (after collagen, that is).
Clinical studies have shown that ASUs help to reduce joint pain from osteoarthritis.
10. Fish oil (Omega-3s)
Fish oil naturally contains high quantities of omega-3s, which are fatty acids that can alleviate joint pain and inflammation. Research has found omega-3s can prevent experimental arthritis and even decrease disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis.
Omega-3s are also proven tools in the fight against high cholesterol. If your bodyweight is adding undesired pressure to your hip joint, omega-3s may help you find and maintain a healthy body weight.
The best supplement for hip pain
Looking at the science, we’re convinced that the best supplement for hip pain (and any other joint pain) is collagen. Collagen for hip pain has numerous benefits compared to the other supplements on our list.
So what’s the first step in choosing a collagen supplement?
Of course, not all collagen supplements are the same. If you want the best collagen for joints, you need to ensure that your supplement is hydrolyzed or preferably nano-hydrolyzed. This means the molecules in your supplement are small enough to be absorbed and put to use without any problems.
Additionally, you should check that there are no additives or excess sugars in your collagen. In general, supplements are not FDA regulated, meaning that unwanted, unhealthy ingredients can be added to collagen supplements to make them artificially sweeter.
For a tried-and-true collagen supplement for hip pain, seek out a medical-grade, hydrolyzed collagen supplement. Medical-grade collagen is FDA regulated and trusted by medical professionals for use in hospitals across the country.
If you’re looking for the most effective supplements for hip pain, a high-quality collagen supplement should absolutely be part of your daily routine.