Hip Osteoarthritis

Hip Osteoarthritis

Arthritis, or osteoarthritis, is the most common joint disease that occurs in almost everyone as they age. Changes tend to progress slowly over the years. With osteoarthritis, more cartilage is lost from the joint than is created by the body. The surface of the articular cartilage breaks and can wear out, causing the bones to rub against each other. As a result of this irritation, the synovial membrane becomes irritated and begins to swell and stiffen. The body itself cannot repair damaged articular cartilage. Symptoms of osteoarthritis include drowsiness and worsening pain when moving. Pain is often relieved at rest. Morning and motor stiffness in the joints are also typical symptoms.


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Risk factors for hip osteoarthritis

  • Being overweight
  • Heredity
  • Joint injuries and ligament damage
  • Wrong limb positions
  • Heavy workload

Aging impairs the mechanical properties of articular cartilage as well as tissue metabolism. These predispose the person to articular cartilage damage.

Symptoms of hip osteoarthritis

  • When there is osteoarthritis in the hip, the hip becomes stiffer. You may find it difficult to cut your toenails because the foot is difficult to bend and the hip does not twist to the side. Sitting in and out of a low car or couch can be tricky.
  • The hip is sore, but the pain often does not feel like it is on the side of the hip, as you might imagine. Instead, the groin aches, and the pain often radiates to the thigh. Even the knee can ache. Many seek help due to a sore thigh or knee.
  • In the early stages of hip osteoarthritis, the pain is typically felt during or after physical exertion. As the osteoarthritis progresses, the pain may become continuous.
  • When cartilage disappears from the hip joint, the leg may shorten. This, in turn, can result in lameness. The foot may also rotate outward so that the toes point outward and not directly forward.


Treatment of hip osteoarthritis

The most important treatment for osteoarthritis is exercise, but movements that cause severe shocks should be avoided. Exercise lubricates the joints like oil on a door hinge.

  • Remember that your joint is not broken and you cannot break it yourself or worsen the osteoarthritis. Therefore, exercise or carrying heavy objects is not prohibited. Any muscle strengthening work is good for you if you can do it.
  • Joint-friendly sports include walking, cycling, water running, water aerobics, swimming, cross-country skiing and ice skating.
  • Head to the gym and strengthen your muscles. Strengthening the glute and thigh muscles can reduce pain in the hip, as strong muscles reduce the load on the hip joint.
  • Stretching the legs and arms with a rubber band, for example, activates mobility and curbs stiffness in the joints.

Adequate rest is an important counterbalance to exercise.


Lighten the load on the hip joint

Being overweight is a major risk factor for osteoarthritis. A drop of just a few pounds can significantly reduce your risk of getting sick. If an osteoarthritis has broken out, according to current knowledge, exercise does not cure or stop it, but it can treat and relieve symptoms, e.g. through improved muscle condition and weight management.

Good ergonomics is recommended treatment for osteoarthritis, as, for example, the height of the work surface and the sitting position affect most of us for hours every day.

There is a variety of mobility aids and your physiotherapist will help you choose the right aid to support your mobility.

You may receive appropriate painkillers for pain management from your doctor.

Hip osteoarthritis is the most common cause of artificial joint surgery on the hip. If walking is no longer successful or the functional capacity is otherwise clearly impaired, and the above-mentioned treatments do not help, artificial joint surgery becomes an option. This option is evaluated by a doctor.