What is Hip Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis of the hip joint occurs when the smooth cartilage that covers the ends of the bone becomes brittle and breaks down in which causes the joint to become inflamed and form ‘bony spurs’ as the body tries to repair the damage. Osteoarthritis cause is yet to be completely determined although some factors include:
- a family history of osteoarthritis
- being overweight or obese
- older age (over 45 are more at risk)
- previous hip joint injury or significant trauma to the joint.
How do I know if I have hip osteoarthritis?
Although symptoms may vary from person to people, common symptoms of Hip Osteoarthritis are as follows:
- grinding, rubbing or crunching sensation when moving the hip.
- hip joint stiffness
- pain in the groin, buttock or at a point deep between the two
It is important that you see a doctor or physiotherapist if you are experiencing any of these so that your hip pain can be diagnosed.
How can physiotherapy help with hip osteoarthritis?
Physiotherapy can help you in the following ways:
- Managing your condition such as providing treatments, advice and education
- Assessing your hip and identifying muscles that may be weak in which they will give you exercises to strengthen these muscles. You may be given exercises to complete at home or referred to a hydrotherapy class.
- Hands-on Techniques – this is where your physiotherapist will use mobilisation and massage techniques to assist in reducing pain
- Assessing the way you walk (balance and gait), therefore will teach you how to walk better and give aids such as a walking stick if needed.
- Your physiotherapist can advise you about the activities to avoid and techniques to use to minimise joint pain.
- Your physiotherapist may also speak to you about weight management and refer you to a dietitian if needed.
How effective is physiotherapy for hip osteoarthritis?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for hip osteoarthritis although it has been proven that physiotherapy is able to successfully managed by using exercise, weight loss and medications, therefore no need for surgery in many cases.
What can I do at home?
You will be advised by your physiotherapist or doctor what physical activity and exercise you will be able to do. This is a vital part of managing your condition. It is important to avoid activities that make the pain worse. Medications may be used to manage symptoms. Hot or cold therapy may also help to reduce pain.
How long will my recovery be?
Your recovery will vary as each person has different symptoms and progress in different ways. It is important to consult with your doctor or physiotherapist to manage your condition properly.
If you would like to find out more please call us or book an appointment here.
Reference: Australian Physiotherapy Association 2019, Your Body, viewed 19 November 2019, < https://australian.physio/>.