Hi osteoarthritis tends to occur in people over the age of 50 and is more common in those who are overweight or have had previous surgery, injury or trauma to the hip.
What is hip osteoarthritis?
Hip osteoarthritis is a condition which describes degeneration or wear and tear of the hip joint cartilage which surrounds the joint surface. This degeneration leads to inflammation, pain and stiffness.
As osteoarthritis progresses the bone eventually wears down to the end and the surfaces are no longer smooth. Small bony processes called osteophytes may develop which can increase the inflammation and pain.
What causes hip osteoarthritis?
There are several different things that can cause hip osteoarthritis including:
- Repetitive overuse
- Being overweight
- Leg length discrepancy
- Previous trauma or injury at the hip joint
- Poor core stability
- Poor biomechanics
- A sedentary lifestyle
What are the symptoms of hip osteoarthritis?
There are a few common symptoms of osteoarthritis of the hip including:
- Hip, groin or buttock pain
- Muscle weakness
- Difficulty walking
Symptoms develop gradually over time and in some cases where the osteoarthritis is mild, little or no symptoms are felt. Symptoms can also change throughout the year as some people find their osteoarthritis gets worse with cold weather.
How is hip osteoarthritis diagnosed?
Your doctor or physiotherapist can carry out a full hop assessment to diagnose whether you have hip osteoarthritis. A scan such as an X-ray or MRI can be used to confirm diagnosis and to see the extent of your arthritis and if any osteophytes are present.
What treatment can Farrell Physiotherapy offer for hip osteoarthritis?
There are several different treatment methods for hip osteoarthritis and your physiotherapist will provide you with a treatment plan following your assessment.
Treatment for hip osteoarthritis often includes:
- Joint mobilisations
- Advice on flare up management
- Balance training
- Gait re-education
- Walking aid advice including crutches, sticks or other aids
- Soft tissue massage
- Heat therapy
- Hip strengthening exercises
- Range of movement exercises
- Activity modification advice
- Weight loss advice if appropriate
If hip osteoarthritis becomes particularly severe and conservative measures are not helping with your symptoms then you may be given the option of a hip replacement where part of all of your hip joint is replaced. Physiotherapy following a hip replacement is paramount to ensuring you make a quick recovery and maintain your pre-operative range of movement and strength.
Benefit of physiotherapy for hip osteoarthritis?
As osteoarthritis is a progressive condition meaning it cannot be cured, physiotherapy can help reduce your symptoms and allow you to get on with your activities of daily living as easily as possible.
Benefits of physiotherapy include:
- Reduced pain
- Education regarding your condition
- Improved range of movement
- Increased strength
- Decreased stiffness
- Improved symptom management
- Increased functional/sporting activity