Osteoarthritis of the Hip: How to Overcome the Pain

July 9th, 2014

 The hip is one of the most impressive joints in our bodies. Without our hip we would not be able to move our legs to walk, or do many of our other daily activities. The hip is a ball and socket joint. This type of joint allows for the hip to turn in different directions, while still maintaining support of the body. This impressive joint encompasses the top of your femur (your thigh bone), this part of the bone has a ball which is covered in cartilage which fits into the socket in your hip. 

The hip does a lot for our bodies, it is only fair that we take proper precaution to help protect it and maintain its proper function.  The cartilage that is in our hip, does not regenerate, meaning it will not repair itself, or grow back. We get one cartilage coating in our hip and that is it. This is one of the many reasons why it is important to take great care of your hips. Another reason is to help prevent degenerative conditions such as Osteoarthritis in the hip.  Here are some tips to help promote hip health: 
Excess weight puts additional stress on joints. Maintaining a healthy body weight will help your joint health.
Keep your range of motion by participating in strength and stretching activities. 
Stretching and strengthening activities can help maintain your range of motion, build muscle and promote flexibility.  Speak with your physician to determine the best course of action. 
Sometimes no matter how hard we try to keep our hips healthy, we can run into some hip health issues. A prominent hip issue is Osteoarthritis in the hip.
Osteoarthritis of the Hip: How to Overcome the Pain 
What is it?
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis found in joints. Also known as degenerative joint disease, Osteoarthritis can affect the knees, ankles, hips and joints found in the feet. With Osteoarthritis in the hip the cartilage in the hip simply wears out. When this occurs bones can rub together, which can cause severe pain and even disability. 
What are the Symptoms? 
The most typical symptom of Osteoarthritis of the hip is pain, usually felt in the area of the groin or thigh. Other symptoms may include:
  • Joint stiffness, when getting out of bed or after sitting for a long period of time
  • The feeling or sound of “crunching” of bones rubbing against one another 
  • Pain, swelling or tenderness around the hip
Conservative approaches to managing Hip Osteoarthritis 
Just because you are diagnosed with arthritis, does not mean you need to give up all of the movements you love in life. Proactive diagnosis and management is key to the conservative approach for managing Osteoarthritis of the hip.  The sooner the presence of arthritis is identified the sooner a management program can be put into place. In managing osteoarthritis of the hip these conservative methods can be used: 
  • Maintaining range of motion - Stretching exercises should be performed under the supervision of a properly trained orthopaedic surgeon or physical therapist  
  • Exercise - Get a plan of action from a physical therapist or orthopaedic surgeon for exercising. These activities will benefits your treatment by strengthening muscles, and helping to strengthen adjacent joints  
  • Use of heat and cold- This method is a pain control alternative. Ice should be used for pain directly related to activity. Moist heat should be used if the pain is non activity specific. 
  • Staying informed - Staying up to date on new information on your condition and treatment options is of the utmost importance. 
However, if you find the conservative approach is not working you might want to speak to your physician about the benefits of minimally invasive hip surgery. 
If you have Osteoarthritis in the hip, be sure to consult with your physician about the best course of action for your treatment. The experts at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute have the expertise to give you the best treatment for your hip condition that you deserve. Contact us today to find out how we can help you on your way to a pain free life! 

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