How To Know If You Have Hip Arthritis
Having problems with one particular routine task is a common giveaway that hip arthritis is affecting your life: putting on your socks and shoes. You need an adequate range of motion in your hips to put your foot up on your opposing leg to put on your shoes and socks. People with hip arthritis tend to lose the range of motion in the hips. Problems putting on your socks and shoes are not always associated with pain but rather just becomes more difficult to do.
You can also tell how long you have been affected by hip arthritis by looking back at how long you have been having problems putting on your socks and shoes. Hip arthritis can onset rapidly and deteriorate the range of motion in the hips quickly. A patient can go from seeing no signs to needing a hip replacement in less than 24 months.
While that is a common symptom, there are many others that a person could be experiencing. Regardless of the type of arthritis, other signs of hip arthritis can include:
- Pain in the groin or thigh that radiates to your knee, outer thigh or buttocks.
- Pain that is worse in the morning or after sitting for a while.
- Flare ups after vigorous activity.
- Limping or pain that causes difficulty walking.
- Sticking or locking of the hip joint.
- Difficulty getting out of a car.
- Pain when leaning over.
- Grinding noises during movement.
- Increased pain in rainy weather.
How Does The Hip Joint Work
The hip is a ball-and-socket joint. The ball, at the top of the femur is called the femoral head. The socket, called the acetabulum, is a part of the pelvis. The ball moves in the socket, allowing the leg to rotate and move forward, backward and sideways.
In a healthy hip, the ball and socket are covered by a glistening layer called articular cartilage. This cartilage, which can be seen on an as the space in between the ball and the socket, is what allows the bones of the hip joint to glide together smoothly with less resistance than ice sliding on ice. In addition, there is a special layer of exceptionally strong cartilage in the acetabulum called the labrum. The structure of the hip joint gives it a wide range of motion. It is a very stable joint because of the large area of between the femoral head and the labrum-lined acetabulum.
Illustration and X-ray image of a healthy hip joint.
Rheumatoid Arthritis In Toes Symptoms
Chronic inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis can lead to a number of serious complications if poorly controlled. A frequently asked question, which joints are usually affected? The symptoms can vary, but smaller joints are often the first to be affected for example, joints that attach toes to your feet. The affected joints can be very stiff, painful, and get swelled.
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What Are The Parts Of A Joint
Joints get cushioned and supported by soft tissues that prevent your bones from rubbing against each other. A connective tissue called articular cartilage plays a key role. It helps your joints move smoothly without friction or pain.
Some joints have a synovial membrane, a padded pocket of fluid that lubricates the joints. Many joints, such as your knees, get supported by tendons and ligaments. Tendons connect muscles to your bones, while ligaments connect bones to other bones.
What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis Of The Hip
Anyone can potentially develop rheumatoid arthritis, but it is most common among people over the age of 60, particularly women. The specific causes of the disease are still not fully understood, but medical researchers believe there are genetic factors at work as well as environmental and lifestyle components that can elevate risk.
Some of the specific risk factors that associated with the onset of rheumatoid arthritis include:
- Smoking or second-hand exposure to smoke
- Possessing a specific gene, known as the human leukocyte antigen class II genotype
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Axial Spondyloarthritis And Ankylosing Spondylitis
Axial spondyloarthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis that primarily affects the back and sacroiliac joints , though it can affect other joints too.
AxSpA is an umbrella for a spectrum of disease that includes non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis in which there is inflammation in the spine and sacroiliac joints but no visible changes to the joints on X-ray and ankylosing spondylitis , which is when joint damage is visible on X-rays.
Hip involvement is common in axSpA studies suggest it can affect up to 20 to 30 percent of patients and can often be disabling. Hip symptoms in axSpA may, in fact, be an indicator of having more severe disease and be associated with a likelihood of having more bone damage over time, research shows.
Hot And Cold Treatments For Symptom Relief
Hot and cold packs cant treat the underlying causes of back pain, but they can help to reduce the pain and stiffness you feel during a flare-up.
Use a heat pack to help improve blood flow and reduce muscle spasms. It can also help make your pain more manageable.
Use a cold pack to help reduce RA inflammation. It should mainly be used for flare-ups or acute pain.
Cold packs may feel uncomfortable at first, but they can reduce swelling and help the pain. Cold packs should only be applied for 20 minutes at a time, 3 to 4 times a day.
Medication can be an effective way of controlling chronic back pain. The type of medication youll need depends on how severe your pain is and how often you experience it.
A variety of medications can alleviate pain and even slow the progression of RA.
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Hip Pain Relief In North Dakota
If you suffer from arthritis or frequent hip pain, speak to the board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic physicians here at The Bone & Joint Center. We are a comprehensive orthopedic practice dedicated to providing state-of-the-art, compassionate, individualized care to effectively treat your condition.
For more information about the orthopedic services we offer, or to schedule a consultation at one of our offices across North Dakota, call our office today at or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you find pain relief so you can get back to the active lifestyle you enjoy!
Rheumatoid Arthritis Of The Hip Quick Answers
Currently there is no known prevention measures for rheumatoid arthritis in the hips. You may be able to reduce your chances by:
- Quitting smoking and tobacco use
- See your dentist regularly
- Stay fit and active
Hip RA is often treated using disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs , such as Plaquenil. DMARDs may be used with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and/or corticosteroids in low doses.
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When To Get Medical Advice
See a GP if you think you have symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, so they can try to identify the underlying cause.
Diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis quickly is important, because early treatment can prevent it getting worse and reduce the risk of joint damage.
Find out more about diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis.
What Are Rheumatoid Arthritis Nodules
Rheumatoid nodules are firm, noticeable lumps that form underneath the skin of some rheumatoid arthritis patients. They generally form on or near the base of the arthritic joints.
Typically, rheumatoid nodules appear in the following locations:
- Fingers and knuckles
- Backs of heels
Less commonly, nodules may form in the eyes, lungs and vocal cords but these represent severe cases.
Furthermore, rheumatoid nodules can vary in size and shape. Most nodules have a circular shape, however, some can be linear in shape as well. Also, they can range from small and pea-sized to as large as a walnut. When rheumatoid nodules form a cluster of tiny nodules, they are referred to as micro-nodules. This severe, less common case of micro-nodules generally occurs around the arthritic finger joints.
Though nodules are firm or even doughy to the touch and dont cause any feelings of tenderness, they can occasionally be painful. Pain typically occurs when flare-ups are active and the joints become inflamed such that it impacts the nodules and the area around them.
Rheumatoid nodules are capable of moving around but some form a connection with the tendons or tissue beneath the skin and become fixed.
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Rheumatoid Arthritis And Your Lungs
The most common RA-related lung complication is interstitial lung disease , a condition that causes inflammation and scarring of the lung tissue. This illness can be hard to detect but occurs when lung tissue becomes inflamed and eventually scarred.
Its unclear exactly how many people with RA develop it, but French researchers presenting an abstract at the American College of Rheumatology annual conference in November 2020 found that the prevalence of subclinical ILD was 18 percent in people who had RA for a dozen years. Other studies put the figure at over 50 percent.
This scarring makes it harder for oxygen in the lungs to enter the bloodstream and travel to other organs. The condition can cause breathlessness and coughing, but it can also be asymptomatic. If untreated, it can progress to pulmonary fibrosis, in which tissues are permanently scarred.
Research also shows that RA sufferers are at double the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD , in which the air sacs cant expand as easily and become clogged with mucus. There is no cure for COPD, although inhalers and steroids can help open airways.
Pleurisy is another condition with increased risk. Here, the pleura the tissue surrounding the lungs becomes inflamed, which can lead to fluid buildup at the base of the lungs.
People with RA may also develop nodules in the lungs, though they may not be bothered by them.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hip Arthritis
For osteoarthritis of the hip, symptoms may include:
- aching pain in the groin area, outer thigh and buttocks
- joint stiffness
- reduced range of motion
In people who have hip osteoarthritis, walking and other motion that stresses the diseased hip cartilage usually increases pain symptoms and reduce a person’s ability to be active levels. At the same time, reduced activity not moving the body much can weaken the muscles that control the hip joint, which may make it even more difficult to perform daily activities.
Because of the loss of the gliding surfaces of the bone, people with arthritis may feel as though their hip is stiff and their motion is limited. Sometimes people actually feel a sense of catching, snapping or clicking within the hip. The pain is usually felt in the groin, but also may be felt on the side of the hip, the buttock and occasionally down into the knee. Activities such as walking long distances, standing for long periods of time or climbing stairs puts stress on the hip that generally makes arthritis pain worse.
In people who have rheumatoid arthritis in the hip, pain is usually worst after periods of rest and inactivity, such as first thing after waking up in the morning. This is because the inactivity causes the joints to stiffen. Pain is often relieved after a period of walking or other activity as the joint becomes more flexible. Some rheumatoid arthritis patients may experience pain, swelling, redness and warmth, especially in the morning.
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Treatment For Hip Arthritis
There is no cure for any type of arthritis, including hip arthritis, but there may be more ways to treat the pain and other symptoms than you would imagine.
For most patients with mild hip arthritis, early stages of treatment can include:
- Rest and ice.
- Anti-inflammatory medications .
- Acetaminophen .
Is Surgery An Option For Rheumatoid Arthritis
While conservative treatments are often effective, many patients with rheumatoid arthritis in the hips can develop severe joint damage. If other therapies have been exhausted, a surgeon may recommend total hip replacement surgery. These procedures can be performed using muscle- and soft tissue-sparing techniques that enable an outpatient procedure.
After undergoing any form of hip surgery, physical therapy and rehabilitation plays a critical role in regaining hip function and maximizing the probability of a positive outcome.
Get in touch with the experts at USA Spine Care
To learn more about the comprehensive array of treatment options at USA Spine Care that can help improve quality of life for patients living with rheumatoid arthritis in the hip, contact us today. Our caring and dedicated team is passionate about helping people get their lives back from debilitating pain.
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Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms In The Spine
Rheumatoid arthritis of the spine can lead to neck pain, back pain, and/or pain that radiates into the legs or arms. In advanced cases, the joint deterioration in the spine can lead to compression of the spinal cord and/or the spinal nerve roots.
The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in the spine are generally similar to the symptoms of osteoarthritis . The range of symptoms is broad and can include any combination of the following:
- Pain is the most common symptom, especially pain at the base of the skull as rheumatoid arthritis most commonly affects the joints connected to the upper cervical vertebrae
- Swelling and warmth in one or more joints, may even be described as burning
- A feeling of local tenderness when the joint of the affected area of the spine is pressed
- Loss of flexibility of the joint in the affected area of the spine
- A crunching feeling when the joint is moved , particularly notable in the neck
- Headaches, related to cervical rheumatoid arthritis
- Pain that radiates down one or both arms, indicating that a cervical spinal nerve root is affected
Symptoms of bowel or bladder dysfunction or change in the ability to walk or move the arms are serious medical symptoms and immediate medical attention should be sought.
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How Is Spinal Arthritis Treated
The treatment for spinal arthritis depends on many factors. They may include your age, level of pain, type and severity of arthritis and personal health goals. Because the joint damage caused by arthritis is irreversible, the treatment usually focuses on managing pain and preventing further damage.
Nonsurgical treatments for spinal arthritis may include:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids to reduce pain and swelling
Other medications targeting specific symptoms or triggers of inflammatory arthritis
Physical therapy to improve back muscle strength and range of motion in the spine
Lifestyle changes to reduce inflammation or stress on your spine: losing weight, quitting smoking, changing your posture, etc.
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How Is Arthritis Diagnosed
If you think you may have arthritis, see your healthcare provider. The provider will ask about your symptoms and learn how joint pain affects your life. Your provider will perform a physical exam, which may include:
- Assessing mobility and range of motion in your joints.
- Checking for areas of tenderness or swelling around your joints.
- Evaluating your overall health to determine if a different condition could be causing your symptoms.
Signs Of Ra In Your Shoulder
As mentioned, there are plenty of things that could cause shoulder pain, so RA isnt always the culprit. However, if you have already been diagnosed with RA pain in other areas of your body, it is certainly a distinct possibility. Some of the most common symptoms of RA, according to WebMD, include:
Swelling An RA joint is often fluid-filled. This can make the area surrounding it appear puffy and large. The fluid that fills the joint can also cause further damage to the bone and structure of the joint itself, leading to further pain down the road.
Pain What causes the pain with RA? It is actually caused by the inflammation within the joint. It is tender to the touch. Plus, the swelling puts pressure on your nerves, causing pain.
Redness and Warmth Does your shoulder feel warm, feverish or have a red tone to it? When a joint is being attacked by RA, there is often warmth and redness.
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An Overview Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
This is due to inflammation of the synovial lining . This can cause the disease’s characteristic swelling, pain, limited range of motion, and decreased function, but also joint damage and deformity as the synovium begins to thicken and inflamed cells release enzymes that digest bone and cartilage.
RA typically has a symmetrical pattern of joint damage. For example, both of your knees are usually affected rather than just one. Signs and symptoms can differ slightly depending on the part of the body that’s affected.
How Is Spinal Arthritis Diagnosed
Your doctor may use some or all of the following diagnostic methods to confirm spinal arthritis:
Medical history and physical exam
Blood tests for genetic markers and/or RA antibodies
X-rays of the spine to locate the arthritic joint
MRI, CT scan, myelography, bone scan and/or ultrasound to zero in on the damage, detect nerve and spinal cord involvement or rule out other causes
Joint aspiration: testing of the synovial fluid inside a joint
To pinpoint the painful joint, your doctor may numb it with an injection and check whether the pain goes away.
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