Hip arthritis is a painful condition that over time can develop in the joint of the hip. It occurs when the cartilage in the joint gradually degenerates, and there is inflammation occurring as a result of the rubbing of the joint. The cartilage works to smooth the surfaces of the joint, and when it erodes, there is a lot more friction during many movements. This means that the bones will basically be rubbing together, and it can cause a lot of pain.
Most people that present with hip arthritis, or hip osteoarthritis, are of older age, because this condition worsens over time. The most common time to experience this disease is over the age of 50. The condition will progress and get worse and worse if left untreated. The less cartilage in the joint, the less shock absorbing capacity there is, and the more pain that is present. You may feel the pain gets worse with weight bearing activities and with joint stiffness, which is why a lot of people feel extra pain in the morning directly after waking up. The pain that you feel is usually felt in the bum region, but may also be felt at the front of the pelvis. There is often a referral down the leg. Some people get worse during colder weather and it is often associated with conditions such as a hip labral tear.
Why Does Hip Arthritis Occur?
These factors contribute to a higher risk of developing hip arthritis.
- Age- It is common over 50 years of age
- Obesity- There is much more pressure on the joint
- Past injury or trauma to the hip
- Different leg length
- Bad biomechanics
- Poor core stability and glute function
How To Treat Hip Arthritis
It is very important to remain active when you suffer from hip arthritis. A stiff joint is a sore joint, and you need to ensure that you are moving around and being as active as you can be, without overly aggravating the symptoms. It is important to maintain a healthy range of motion and strength of the hip, to help ease the pressure places on the joint. This will help to reduce the pain significantly.
Some of the techniques used to treat hip arthritis are:
- Ice and heat treatment
- Strength and balance exercises
- Correction of bad biomechanics
- Anti inflammatory drugs
- Weight loss and diet plans
- Better footwear
If you are by yourself, you need to ensure you go through a large range of stretches for the hip area, but more importantly that you do strength exercises of the gluteal muscles. Anything that does not aggravate your symptoms will immensely help you. Remember, a stronger joint, means less pressure is being placed on the area, and less friction will occur.