Hip arthritis is quite common across our country and the world really. Even though many kinds of arthritis can affect the hip joint, osteoarthritis is the most common type of hip arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is less likely to be found in the hip. Over 32.5 million Americans suffer from some kind of arthritis almost on a daily basis.
Hip arthritis makes every movement of the patient achy and uncomfortable. Bending and lifting things become almost impossible for such patients. The condition affects the quality of life of the individual. Of course, that’s why knowing how to relieve arthritic hip pain is so important.
Symptoms Of Arthritic Hip Pain
Patients suffering from hip arthritis may experience many symptoms in their hip joint. Here are some of the most common symptoms associated with the condition:
- A dull ache or sharp pain in the joint
- Reduced range of movements
- Stiffness and swelling in the joint
- The pain may radiate to the groin, knees, buttock, and inner thigh areas at times
Of course, if you suspect you have arthritis, consult with your personal physician as soon as possible for the best treatment plan for you and your individual medical conditions.
Why Does Arthritis Cause Pain in the Hip?
In hip osteoarthritis, the cartilage inside the hip joints starts to wear away. It’s like a rubber tissue that covers the ends of the bones in the hip joints. It helps prevent the ends of the bones rub against each other by acting as a cushion. The cartilage lubricates the joint and allows them to move painlessly.
When the cartilage wears away, the bones of the joint start to rub together – causing joint inflammation, pain, and swelling. When a person grows older, the cartilage between the bones starts to deteriorate. The symptoms of pain and discomfort tend to worsen over time. That’s when you need to see a doctor to diagnose and treat the condition effectively.
Your doctor will check your medical history and carry out a physical examination of the hip joints to diagnose the condition. He or she may also order the following tests to diagnose the condition accurately:
- An X-ray of the hips
- Synovial fluid analysis to check for inflammation in the joint fluid
- Blood tests
Effective Treatments For Reducing Hip Pain from Arthritis
Arthritis in the hips can be treated with medications and surgery. Patients can manage their symptoms with physical therapy and other stretching exercises. Effective treatment for hip arthritis can improve mobility and reduce pain over time.
Here are 12 expert-approved ways to ease arthritis pain in the hip:
1. Over-The-Counter Meds
Pain medications are effective in relieving the pain associated with hip arthritis. People living with hip osteoarthritis can treat mild to moderate pain with OTC medications NSAIDs and acetaminophen. But over-the-counter medications may not be enough for people suffering from severe hip arthritis. They may require prescribed pain relief medications to ease the discomfort and improve the quality of life .
2. Arthritis Medications
Patients who are at the beginning of the hip osteoarthritis stage may require arthritis medications such as Corticosteroids and Hyaluronic acid injections to slow down the progression of the condition and reduce some of its symptoms. Corticosteroids are effective in controlling inflammation to slow down the progression of the condition. It can be taken as oral tablets and injections. Hyaluronic acid injections are also effective in treating hip osteoarthritis. Your doctor is the best person to prescribe these medications depending on the severity of your hip osteoarthritic condition [1,2].
Stretching and exercises are highly effective methods of relieving hip pain. Swimming, strength training, and yoga are some of the most effective in this regard. Everyday stretching will improve your flexibility and alleviate the stiffness in the hip joint .
4. Physical Therapy
Physical therapy treatment may benefit people who suffer from arthritic hip pain. The therapist will assess the physical condition and mobility issues of the patient before recommending customized exercises to improve his/her mobility. The patient can safely perform the exercises at home once the therapist demonstrates how to perform the exercises .
Surgery is ideal for patients who suffer from severe arthritis of the hip that affects the quality of their life. The two main surgical options available for such patients are total hip replacement and hip resurfacing .
6. Stem Cell Therapy
Mesenchymal stem cells can develop into bone and cartilage tissue. These stem cells could help repair damaged cartilage and reduce the inflammation associated with hip arthritis .
7. Use Ice Packs
Icing the inflamed hip joint can help lower inflammation and reduce the pain. Ice 4 to 5 times a day for 10-15 minutes for the best results. Place an ice pack on the hip joints and wrap a towel around the joints .
8. Use Heat Therapy
Warm up the affected joint with a hot shower or bath to soothe the joint. Heat therapy is highly effective in relieving the pain and inflammation associated with hip arthritis .
9. Working Out In Water
Water aerobics are great exercises for the hip joints. You can exercise in water to strengthen the muscles without placing too much pressure on the hip joints .
10. Lose Weight
Hip osteoarthritis results from the wear and tear of the cartilage in the hip joints. Losing a few pounds can help lower the pressure on the joints. This will help ease the pressure on the joint and inflammation associated with hip osteoarthritis .
11. Strengthen The Outer Thighs
Building up the muscles in your outer thighs will improve the health of your hip joint in the long run. Lie on the pain-free side and lift the affected leg about six inches high in the air. Hold the position for 2-3 minutes and lower the leg. You may start with one set of 10 repetitions and build it up to three sets of 10 repetitions a day .
12. Listen To Your Body
When you have hip osteoarthritis, exercises will help reduce the pain associated with the condition. But when you feel that the hip starts to hurt when exercising, you need to stop exercising and rest the joint. In fact, listening to your body is very important when working out to relieve the pain associated with hip osteoarthritis .