Hip Arthritis

Osteoarthritis / Arthritis is a degenerative disease where cartilage in the joints of the body get worn down eventually leaving the bone exposed causing endless amount of pain who anyone who suffers with it. Normal or “healthy” cartilage acts as support in the joint, which allows the bone to run smoothly, when damaged it becomes rough causing discomfort for many people.

Anatomy

The hip is a ball and socket joint and is one of the largest joints in the body.  The acetabulum is a part of the pelvis bone which allows the head of the femur to move freely in the socket.

Articular cartilage is a slippery substance which covers the joint, this helps protect and allows free unpainful movement in the ball and socket. Within the hip synovium can be found, this also helps lubricate the joint to allow the hip to function properly.

A person who is suffering with arthritis of the hip will have cartilage that is worn down and will not be producing enough fluid to allow the free movement.  This will lead to the bone rubbing against another bone creating discomfort and pain for an individual.

 

Symptoms

  • Stiffness around the hip joint
  • Flare ups when walking, running or performing exercise
  • Pain when resting
  • Daily discomfort and ongoing pain in the joint
  • Stiffness in the groin, thigh and glutes when walking
  • Swelling around the hip
  • Grinding sensation in the joint when moving

Causes

  • Arthritis is more common as you get older
  • Family history is a common factor of hip arthritis
  • Individuals who are more overweight often show on going signs of arthritis
  • An injury to the hip and overuse may lead to the long-term effects of arthritis

Diagnosis

A full physical examination will be carried out by a doctor to determine the severity of your condition.

The doctor will carry out special tests specific for the hip to see what movements create the most pain and discomfort. The professional will need to know information such as when the pain first started to occur, how if effects your sleep and how it affects your day-to-day life and activities.

Special tests that are used for the diagnosis of hip arthritis are Trendelenburg test, supine (leg length test) and gait test.

Treatment

Non- surgical treatment that may be effective to help reduce the pain from arthritis are as follows:

  • Ensuring you rest enough when the hip joint is in any pain to reduce irritating the arthritis
  • Preform non-weight baring exercises such as swimming or a gentle cycle to reduce any added pressure onto the hip, this allows the hip to still have good range of motion and keeps the joint functioning
  • Make sure you are getting enough sleep and resting the hip
  • Try eating a healthier balanced diet, this will help with weight loss and reduce the amount of stress placed onto the joints
  • Use over the counter treatment such as deep freeze which may help reduce pain and swelling around the joint

If the pain is ongoing, it is worth speaking to your doctor who may suggest surgery as a last resort. This would mean you would undergo a hip replacement, where you would then follow an 8–12-week rehabilitation programme.

Exercises

These exercises should be performed in sets and reps, it is best to speak to a doctor or physiotherapist to find out the recommended amount suitable for you:

  • Seated hip flexion
  • Sit to stand
  • Kneeling hip flexor stretch
  • Hip abduction in supine position
  • Hip extension
  • Glute bridges
  • Body weight squat

 

 

Prevention

Prevention of hip arthritis involves making lifestyle changes and taking steps to reduce your risk of developing the condition. Here are some tips for preventing hip arthritis:

  • Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese puts additional stress on your hip joint, increasing your risk of developing arthritis.
  • Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can help improve your joint health, flexibility, and strength.
  • Avoid overuse injuries: Repeated stress on the hip joint can lead to arthritis over time.
  • Use proper technique: When performing physical activities or exercises, use proper technique
  • Wear appropriate footwear

Avoid sitting for long periods: Sitting for extended periods can increase the pressure on your hips.

Manage other health conditions: Certain health conditions, such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, can increase your risk of developing hip arthritis. Work with your healthcare provider to manage these conditions and reduce your risk.

By making these lifestyle changes and taking steps to reduce your risk of developing hip arthritis, you can help protect your hip joints and maintain good overall health.