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Hip Osteoarthritis

Hip Osteoarthritis

What is Hip Osteoarthritis?

Your hip joint is a ball and socket joint, made up of your femur (thighbone) and pelvis (hip bone). The end of the femur (the ball) fits into the pelvic bone (the socket).

Cartilage, a smooth, rubbery coating that cushions the ends of your bones where they meet to form joints, covers the femur and socket of your pelvic bone, making your hip movements smooth and painless.

Hip osteoarthritis (OA) occurs when that layer of cartilage wears away, causing bone to rub on bone.

In more severe cases, painful bone spurs called osteophytes can form in the place of cartilage.

Causes | Symptoms | Treatment | Prevention

What Causes Hip Osteoarthritis?

There is no one cause of hip OA, but factors that increase your likelihood of developing it include:

  • Increasing age, especially over 65
  • Gender – women are more likely to get osteoarthritis
  • Being overweight
  • Family history of osteoarthritis
  • Primary inflammatory arthritis (e.g. rheumatoid arthritisankylosing spondylitis)
  • Genetic defects in the cartilage or hips
  • Metabolic diseases
  • Previous hip injuries
  • Long-term, repetitive strain on your hips, whether occupational or recreational
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Diet low in Vitamins D, C and K

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Hip Osteoarthritis?

The most common symptom of hip OA is pain around the hip joint, although the exact location of the pain can vary depending on where the deterioration of the cartilage is.

Most often, the pain will be in the front of your hip, but it could be in your groin or thigh as well.

Other signs and symptoms include:

  • Swelling or tenderness in the hip joint
  • Stiffness in the hip, especially first thing in the morning or after periods of inactivity
  • A crunching, clicking, or snapping sound (known as crepitus) when moving the hip
  • A locking feeling in the hip joint
  • Decreased range of motion and pain while doing routine activities such as getting in and out of your car, tying your shoelace, and walking
  • Pain with strenuous activity

Concerned about symptoms of hip osteoarthritis? Book an assessment with a physiotherapist today.

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How is Hip Osteoarthritis Treated?

Treatments for hip osteoarthritis typically include medications, physiotherapy, and surgery, though surgery should be considered only as a last resort, and many drugs carry serious side effects.

Treatments for hip osteoarthritis include:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Medications, including:
    • Over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen
    • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), though these drugs can have serious side effects
    • Corticosteroid injections, though these cannot be continued for a long period of time
  • Surgery – if surgery is necessary after other less invasive treatments have not helped, physiotherapy is an important part of rehabilitation

Physiotherapy for Hip Osteoarthritis

Physiotherapy is a drug-free and non-surgical treatment that has been proven to reduce osteoarthritis pain.

The goal of physiotherapy for hip osteoarthritis is to prevent the progression of the disease, reduce pain, regain strength, and increase joint mobility, function, and quality of life.

A study on a six week physiotherapy education and exercise program has been shown to significantly improve pain, function, knowledge, and mood for patients waiting for hip surgery, and can even postpone the need for a hip replacement.

Depending on your individual needs, physiotherapy for hip osteoarthritis can include:

Are you seeking physiotherapy for hip osteoarthritis treatment? Book an assessment today.

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Can Hip Osteoarthritis Go Away on Its Own?

Unfortunately, no. There is no cure for hip osteoarthritis, but with proper treatment, the disease can be managed effectively and progression stopped or delayed.

If you have hip osteoarthritis, there are things you can do to make daily living easier, including:

  • Switching to lower impact activities, such as walking instead of jogging
  • If possible, minimizing activities that put stress on your hip joint, like climbing stairs
  • Using assistive devices to make daily living easier such as a cane, raised toilet seat, or long-handled reacher to help pick things up so you don’t need to bend over
  • Applying heat and cold therapy

Can You Prevent Hip Osteoarthritis?

If you have hip osteoarthritis risk factors, you can take steps to help reduce your chances of developing it, including:

  • Exercising regularly, including muscle strengthening and stretching exercises such as yoga or tai chi (at least 30 minutes every day)
  • Eating a non-inflammatory diet (avoiding processed and refined foods and sugar)
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Improving your posture

Book a Physiotherapist Consult for Hip Osteoarthritis Today

Concerned about symptoms of hip osteoarthritis? Book an assessment with a physiotherapist today.

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