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Hip Arthritis

What is Hip Arthritis?

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of Hip Arthritis. Osteoarthritis causes degeneration of the joint surfaces leading to pain and loss of function. Osteoarthritis involves the loss of articular cartilage (protective covering on the ends of bones) and damage to the boney surfaces of the joint. Osteoarthritis can be very painful and is considered a progressive disease but there are recent advances in the management of hip arthritis, including new exercise regimes that can help slow down the progression of this condition.

How long will hip arthritis last?

The joint degeneration associated with arthritis is permanent, however much of the pain and loss of function associated can be reduced with specific and targeted exercise programs. Activity modification and biomechanic correction can also significantly slow joint degeneration. If left untreated hip osteoarthritis will continue to progress causing pain and loss of movement and walking ability, and in many cases lead to an early hip joint replacement.  

Symptoms

The signs & symptoms of Hip arthritis are / can be:

  • Loss of range of motion at the hip joint (difficulty putting on shoes and socks or climbing in and out of a car).
  • Loss of strength of the muscles around the hip joint.
  • Pain in the hip, groin or lower back during or after activity or when weight bearing.
  • Stiffness in the hip, often worse in the morning, or after sitting for long periods.
  • Loss of balance.
  • Walking with a limp, especially leaning towards the side of the hip arthritis.
  • Crepitis (sounds) when moving the hip.

Suggestions for managing Hip Arthritis

  • Remaining active with activity modification strategies are extremely important when suffering from hip arthritis. Often much of the pain and loss of function can be decreased by completing a targeted strength and range of motion exercise program.
  • Use it or lose it – if you don’t use your muscles they will become weak and dysfunctional and only contribute to higher levels of pain. Consult your Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist  for your specific muscle strengthening program
  • Motion is lotion – the more you move a stiff arthritic joint the easier it becomes to move and the less painful it is to move.  Also by frequently moving your hip joint you can prevent any further loss of range. Consult your Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist for your specific stretching and range of motion program.
  • A painful arthritic hip does not respond well to excessive loading. Activities such as Hydrotherapy or Pilates, which reduce the load being passed through your hip but still allow strength and range training, can do wonders for an arthritic hip.
  • Walking with a limp is not advised and you must consult a professional immediately.

Professional treatment options

Contact us now for immediate advice regarding arthritis of the hip.

Click here for some Hip Arthritis Exercise tips designed by physiotherapists at The Sports Injury Clinic.