How Will Osteoarthritis Of The Hip Affect Me
While many people wont have symptoms, those who do can have a wide range of experiences. Being diagnosed with osteoarthritis doesnt mean your condition will get worse, as there are things you can do to improve your symptoms.
In hip osteoarthritis, the pain comes on gradually over a period of months or years. However, it could also be triggered by a recent injury. You might find symptoms come and go and that the pain is worse at the end of the day.
The painful areas are usually the lower back, buttocks and groin. Some people also feel discomfort from the top of their thigh down to the knee. Sometimes it can even be felt all the way down to the ankle. This can be known as referred or radiating pain.
If your hip is badly affected, walking, standing up or bending down can suddenly become much more difficult. Your hip might also lock for a few moments.
If you have advanced hip osteoarthritis, the muscles around the hip can become smaller and weaker due to not using them. This then puts even more strain on the joint.
The best thing you can do at home for hip osteoarthritis is exercise, as it will strengthen the muscles that support your hip joint.
Sometimes the effects of osteoarthritis can make people feel depressed or anxious. It can also affect your sleep pattern and even your relationships. Its worth speaking to your doctor about these problems.
What Is Osteoarthritis Of The Hip
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and the hip is the second most commonly affected joint.
Everyones joints go through a normal cycle of wear and repair during their lifetime. As your joints repair themselves, their shape and structure can change. If this happens in one or more of your joints, its known as osteoarthritis.
A joint is a part of the body where two or more bones meet. Your hip joint consists of a ball at the top of the thigh bone, which fits into a socket in your pelvis.
The ends of both bones in a joint are covered by a smooth slippery surface, known as cartilage. This is the soft but tough tissue that allows the bones to move against each other without friction.
Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage in your hip joint to become thinner and the surfaces of the joint to become rougher. This can cause swelling, pain and stiffness, but not everyone will have these symptoms.
The exact cause of osteoarthritis is often not known, as there can be quite a few reasons why a person develops the condition. These include the genes inherited from your parents.
Osteoarthritis usually starts in people over the age of 45 and is more common in women than men.
Research has shown that injuries, and jobs that involve heavy lifting or long periods of standing up, are associated with an increased risk of developing hip osteoarthritis.
Being overweight can also be a factor, as it increases the load on your joints.
Physical Therapy Guide To Osteoarthritis Of The Hip
Hip osteoarthritis is the wearing down of the cartilage of the hip joint. It can develop at any age, although it is more commonly diagnosed in older adults. Hip OA can make everyday activities, such as walking or climbing stairs, difficult.
There is no one reason to develop hip OA. The incidence of developing symptoms from hip OA increase with age and is greater in white females , and people who have injured their hip in the past. The impact of obesity on developing hip OA is not yet clear. The lifetime risk, the probability of developing symptomatic hip OA over the lifetime, is 25%.
Recent research found no difference in the rate of occurrence of hip OA in the general public based on race, gender, weight, or educational level.
More severe cases of hip OA may require hip joint replacement surgery. Whether or not patients have surgery, physical therapists design specific exercise and treatment programs to manage pain and get people with hip OA moving again.
Physical therapists are movement experts. They improve quality of life through hands-on care, patient education, and prescribed movement. You can contact a physical therapist directly for an evaluation. To find a physical therapist in your area, visit Find a PT.
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Summary Of Hip Arthritis
- Osteoarthritis of the hip is common and can result in severe hip joint pain and disability. as a result of this condition, several hundred thousand people each year in the U.S. undergo total hip replacement.
- Most people with osteoarthritis of the hip can be managed without surgery.
- The cause of osteoarthritis of the hip is not known but some risk factors include obesity, severe hip trauma, and acquired conditions in adulthood, such as osteonecrosis and genetics.
- There are many other kinds of arthritis that can affect the hip. It is important to make sure that the correct diagnosis is made as some of these other conditions are treated very differently.
- The diagnosis of osteoarthritis of the hip is usually very straightforward and is made in almost all cases by a physician taking a thorough history, performing a physical examination, and getting x-rays with the patient standing up.
- Patients usually seek care for the typical symptoms of hip arthritis, including pain located in the groin thigh or buttock. The pain associated with osteoarthritis of the hip is generally worse with weight bearing or twisting. Stiffness and leg-length inequality are other symptoms.
How Can A Physical Therapist Help
Your physical therapist will explain what hip OA is, how it is treated, the benefits of exercise, the importance of increasing overall daily physical activity, and how to protect the hip joint while walking, sitting, climbing stairs, standing, carrying loads, and lying in bed.
Testing will reveal any specific physical problems you have that are related to hip OA, such as loss of motion, muscle weakness, or balance problems. Addressing the problems in surrounding body regions, such as the spine and the lower extremity, is important to the treatment of hip OA.
The pain of hip OA can be reduced through simple, safe, and effective physical activities like walking, riding a bike, or swimming.
Although physical activity can delay the onset of disability from hip OA, people may avoid being physically active because of their pain and stiffness, confusion about how much and what exercise to do, and not knowing when they will see benefits. Your physical therapist will be able to guide you in learning a personal exercise program that will help reduce your particular pain and stiffness.
Your physical therapist will work with you to:
- Reduce your pain.
- Improve your leg, hip, and back motion.
- Improve your strength, standing balance, and walking ability.
- Speed healing and your return to activity and sport.
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Alternative Remedies And Treatments
Nutritional supplementation is helpful to some patients though the science on this is not entirely supportive of their effectiveness.
There are some studies to suggest that acupuncture can decrease the pain associated with osteoarthritis of the hip.
Although there is little hard science on this point, most hip surgeons and rheumatologists believe that patients with osteoarthritis of the hip should consider avoiding impact sports such as running in order to avoid increasing the rate at which the disease progresses.
It is important that patients with osteoarthritis of the hip avoid decreasing their activity level and it is important that they remain fit. However this often does require some modification of exercise programs running and walking programs are usually poorly tolerated by patients with osteoarthritis of the hip. Stationary bike, swimming and water aerobics usually are well-tolerated and they are recommended.
Nonsurgical Treatments For Hip Arthritis
Nonsurgical approaches that reduce pain and disability include:
- activity modification
- weight loss
- physical therapy
The first line of treatment of hip arthritis includes activity modification, anti-inflammatory medication, hip injections and weight loss. Weight loss helps decrease the force that goes across the hip joint. Giving up activities that make the pain worse may make this condition bearable for some people. Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen and the newer Cox-2 inhibitors help alleviate the inflammation that may be contributing to the pain. Furthermore, studies have shown that walking with a cane significantly decreases the forces across the hip joint.
A combination of these non-operative measures may help ease the pain and disability caused by hip arthritis.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Osteoarthritis Of The Hip
If you have any of the following symptoms of hip osteoarthritis, talk to your doctor:
- Joint stiffness that occurs as you are getting out of bed
- Joint stiffness after you sit for a long time
- Any pain, swelling, or tenderness in the hip joint
- A sound or feeling of bone rubbing against bone
- Inability to move the hip to perform routine activities such as putting on your socks
Complementary And Alternative Therapies
Some people with osteoarthritis try complementary or alternative therapies such as acupuncture and aromatherapy and find them helpful.
However, there’s a lack of medical evidence to suggest they’re effective and they generally are not recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence .
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How Is Hip Arthritis Diagnosed
Your doctor may use the following diagnostic tools to determine if you have hip arthritis:
- Medical history and physical examination
- Blood tests for genetic markers and/or RA antibodies
- X-rays to determine cartilage loss
You cant see cartilage on X-ray, but you can see the space between the bones of the hip joint. If its narrowing, this could mean that cartilage has been lost. X-rays also show bone spurs and cysts, which develop due to osteoarthritis. MRI of the hip is usually not needed to diagnose arthritis.
What Kind Of Physical Therapist Do I Need
All physical therapists are prepared through education and experience to treat hip osteoarthritis and people with hip replacements. However, you may want to consider:
- A physical therapist who is experienced in treating people with hip osteoarthritis and people who have had hip replacement surgery. Some physical therapists have a practice with an orthopedic focus.
- A physical therapist who is a board-certified orthopaedic clinical specialist. This physical therapist has advanced knowledge, experience, and skills that may apply to your condition.
You can find physical therapists who have these and other credentials by using Find a PT, the online tool built by the American Physical Therapy Association to help you search for physical therapists with specific clinical expertise in your geographic area.
General tips when youre looking for a physical therapist :
- Get recommendations from family, friends, or other health care providers.
- When you contact a physical therapy clinic for an appointment, ask about the physical therapists experience in helping people who have hip osteoarthritis or hip replacement.
- Be prepared to describe your symptoms in as much detail as possible, and say what makes your symptoms worse.
The American Physical Therapy Association believes that consumers should have access to information that could help them make health care decisions and also prepare them for their visit with their health care provider.
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Build Muscles To Support Joints
Strong muscles support your joints. If you dont have enough muscle, your joints take a pounding, especially your spine, hips, and knees, which must support your entire body weight. Weight training exercises help build muscle and keep your muscles and surrounding ligaments strong. That way, your joints dont have to do all the work.
A certified personal trainer can show you the best exercises for healthy joints and how to do them correctly. Doing them incorrectly increases the chance of injury.
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Symptoms Of Arthritis In The Hip
Common symptoms of hip arthritis may include:
- Pain in the hip joint, which may include pain in the groin, buttock, or outer thigh
- Pain that radiates down the inside of the leg
- Occasional knee pain, usually on the inside of the knee
- Locking or sticking of the hip joint
- Grinding noise when you move its caused by loose fragments of cartilage and other tissue that interfere with the motion of the joint
- Difficulty walking or decreasing distance that you can walk
- Walking with a limp
- Difficulty walking up or down stairs
- Difficulty getting in and out of a car
- Difficulty bending over, such as to put on socks and shoes
- Difficulty sleeping or pain that wakes you up at night
- Pain that worsens with vigorous or extended activity
- Stiffness in the hip or limited/decreased range of motion
- Limited ability to do everyday activities
- Pain comes and goes as it progresses, good days decrease and bad days increase
- Leg on the affected side may become shorter
It aches all the time especially when I move my hip left or right, of if I bend down for something, CreakyJoints member Joyce F., who has rheumatoid arthritis, shared on Facebook. The hip pain affected her ability to walk far or lift her foot to use stairs. Sleeping at night is a painful agony as I cannot stay in one position for very long without pain waking me up, she added.
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How Does Osteoarthritis Affect The Hip Joint
Patients who have osteoarthritis of the hip sometimes have problems walking. Diagnosis can be difficult at first. That’s because pain can appear in different locations, including the groin, thigh, buttocks, or knee. The pain can be stabbing and sharp or it can be a dull ache, and the hip is often stiff.
When To See A Doctor
Most of the time you can treat your hip pain yourself with simple self-help treatments. If your pain is extremely bad or hasnt improved after two weeks of regularly taking painkillers, you should see your doctor.
You should see your doctor straight away if:
- youve had a fall or injured your hip
- the pain is getting worse
- youre having difficulty with daily activities, for example walking, going up stairs or leaning forwards when sitting
- you feel feverish or unwell, or youve been losing weight.
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Surgical Treatments For Hip Osteoarthritis
When non-surgical treatments dont relieve hip osteoarthritis symptoms, the following surgical options may be recommended.
- Total hip replacement surgery : Removal of damaged bone from the hip socket and the femoral head and replacing it with new joint surfaces .
- Partial hip replacement: Replacement of the ball of the hip joint and leaving the socket intact. This surgery is most often done to repair certain types of hip fractures or isolated arthritis.
- Arthroscopy: Involves smaller incisions and uses tiny cameras and instruments to repair abnormalities in the hip that are contributing to wear and tear.
- Osteotomy: Surgery around the hip to adjust anatomical irregularities that may contribute to wear and tear, while preserving the hips general structure.
Rheumatoid Arthritis In The Hips
Rheumatoid arthritis in the Hips is hip pain is caused by your immune system attacking your joint linings and eating away at your healthy cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis in hips causes a condition of chronic inflammation in your joints that needs to be taken care of ASAP if you want to prevent further damage. If you have hip rheumatoid arthritis, then you will need to stop the immune condition first and then use the treatment at the bottom of this pae to relieve the cause of your rheumatoid arthritis hip pain. Also see Natural Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment to treat your underlying autoimmune issue.
Consider using a Homeopathic Arthritis Treatment for arthritis in the hips because it works well for relieving Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms quickly. Then use specific remedies for RA to stop the autoimmune cause of arthritis. This can be done with an immune balancing natural mineral (removes the underlying viral infection present in RA and also flushes out toxic heavy metal deposits in your joints that breed infections.
Natural Zeolite Powder works wonders for arthritis, particularly rheumatoid arthritis and septic arthritis) because it traps and removes viruses from your joints and body. I recommend a specific type of zeolite for RA called Zeolite-AV because it has medicinal mushrooms that are proven infection fighters that blend harmoniously with zeolites to balance your immune system and stop it from attacking your joints so you can finally heal.
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Surgery For Hip Arthritis
The progression of hip arthritis and effectiveness of various nonsurgical treatments varies. If nonsurgical options dont provide the desired pain relief and your quality of life suffers, it may be time to consider surgical options, such as:
- Hip replacement surgery, or hip arthroplasty, is a procedure to replace one or both ends of a damaged hip joint with artificial implants.
- Hip fusion is a procedure to fuse the bones of the hip joint together. It used to be the standard surgical treatment for hip arthritis before replacement surgeries became available, but is now a last-resort treatment as it severely impacts mobility.
What Causes Osteoarthritis Of The Hip Joint
The causes of osteoarthritis of the hip are not known. Factors that may contribute include joint injury, increasing age, and being overweight.
In addition, osteoarthritis can sometimes be caused by other factors:
- The joints may not have formed properly.
- There may be genetic defects in the cartilage.
- The person may be putting extra stress on their joints, either by being overweight or through activities that involve the hip.
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