Treatments for Hip Arthritis: What’s Right For You?

Mitchell K. Freedman, DO October 14th, 2015

If you or someone you love has hip arthritis, you may have begun to notice how the pain and stiffness can affect your life. As normal activities become more painful and difficult to perform, you are probably looking for treatments for hip arthritis

At Rothman Orthopaedic Institute, we want to help patients like you find relief from these hip arthritis symptoms. In this blog, you will find important information on diagnosis and treatment for this condition. 
What is hip arthritis and how is it diagnosed?
Before you begin seeking treatments for hip arthritis, it is helpful to have a better understanding of the condition. The most common symptoms of this condition include pain, swelling, stiffness, and instability of the joint. 
Several conditions can contribute to the development of hip arthritis, but the most common is osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease. This form of hip arthritis is a result of cartilage between joints eroding over time, leading to the painful contact of bones within the joint. This erosion can result from a lifetime of wear and tear, although obesity and injury can also be contributing factors.
Other types of arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, and lupus.These conditions have different causes, symptoms, and complications from osteoarthritis, but share the common characteristics of pain and swelling.
Doctors may use various methods when diagnosing hip arthritis. Typically, a physical examination will be accompanied by questions about your symptoms and family history. In some cases, the physician will also take an X-ray or MRI scan to get more information. 
What are some common treatments for hip arthritis? 
There are a number of treatments for hip arthritis available which can help to reduce the pain of this condition and restore joint function. Typically, doctors will begin by recommending the most conservative options before moving to more advanced treatments. Common options can include the following:
  • Lifestyle changes:
 Your doctor may recommend dietary changes to ensure that you are taking in enough bone and joint supporting nutrients. Weight loss is another commonly recommended lifestyle change. Carrying extra weight puts extra stress on weight-bearing joints such as the hips, and so it can cause excess erosion of cartilage. Losing weight can help to mitigate some of this cartilage loss.

  • Physical Therapy and Light Exercise:
 Your doctor can recommend a program for physical therapy and exercise that is appropriate for keeping your joints healthy and reducing their pain and swelling. Physical therapy can also help to improve your range of motion, and reduce stiffness. 
  • Heat or Ice: 
Heat and ice are often used to treat swelling and inflammation throughout the body, and arthritis pain is no exception. Your doctor may recommend applying a heating pad or ice to your joints to reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Over-the-counter Pain Relievers:
 These medications are often prescribed to help patients with mild to moderate arthritis pain. These medications are designed to reduce pain and inflammation from a variety of conditions. As with any medical treatment, it is important to talk with your doctor before starting a medication regimen, even if the medication involved is sold without a prescription.
  • Cortisone Injections:
 For those with severe arthritis pain in need of immediate pain relief, your doctor may recommend cortisone injections to reduce inflammation. This treatment is used for relief of acute, severe arthritis symptoms. 
  • Surgical Treatments for Hip Arthritis:
 There are several surgical treatments for hip arthritis that may be helpful for those with pain and loss of joint function that has not been helped by more conservative methods. These options can include hip arthroscopy and total hip replacement. 
Where can I find help for hip arthritis?
If you or someone you love is suffering from hip arthritis, it is important to find a doctor with specialized training in this area. For those in the Philadelphia region, expert help is available from Rothman Orthopaedic Institute. For more information, or to make an appointment, please contact us today at 800.321.9999.

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