Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It is also termed as ‘degenerative joint disorder’ or age related arthritis, as it develops when people age. The cartilage functions as ‘shock absorbers’ that gives a cushion effect to the end of the bones and prevents the bones from directly rubbing against each other, thereby reducing the friction within joints.
Osteoarthritis occurs when this cartilage tissue is deformed, is injured and inflamed or breaks down over the course of time as our bodies wear.
It can affect any joint in the body including the hip joint. The hip joint is an important joint in the body because it is responsible for balancing the entire weight of the body.
Although, the cause of osteoarthritis is unknown, contributing factors include:
- Genetic defects in cartilage
- Over-stressing the joints.
Some of the common symptoms of Osteoarthritis include:
- Stiffness in the hip joint when sitting for long hours.
- Any sort of pain, inflammation or feeling of weakness in the hip joint.
- Grinding sound or feeling, as if bones are rubbing against one another.
- Difficulty in getting up after sleeping in a particular posture.
- Difficulty in performing routine activities involving hip movement.
It’s advised to consult your physician if any of the aforementioned symptoms are noticed. Your physician will diagnose hip arthritis by examining you, evaluating your medical history, and by performing tests, such as x-rays or other imaging tests.
Treatment for hip osteoarthritis ranges from modifying your lifestyle to exercising, medication therapy, and possibly surgery.
This is often a treatment of choice for those patients with mild to moderate symptoms. OTC (Over the counter) medicines like Ibuprofen, acetaminophen or naproxen are generally sufficient to control pain.
Patients with moderate to severe hip osteoarthritis may benefit from prescription pain relievers. Another form of treatment corticosteroids. This medication is injected directly into hip joint, thereby reducing pain and swelling more quickly than oral medication.
Lifestyle changes can help with pain management. Some of the important lifestyle changes that can make a difference include:
- Getting adequate rest.
- Losing weight, as excess weight puts pressure on hip joint.
- Modifying your diet to reduce foods known to cause inflammation.
Surgery is the last option for patients who do not respond to other treatments and may be helpful for those who suffer from extreme pain, even when at rest. And in many cases a hip replacement is able to help restore functionality and a normal lifestyle.
Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease that can alter your lifestyle. If you are in pain or need to speak with a physician, contact an IBJI orthopedic specialists today.