Hip Osteoarthritis - Fact Sheet

What is Hip Osteoarthritis – Fact Sheet ?

The hip joint is made up of the femoral head (a ball shape) and the acetabulum (the joint’s socket). The weight-bearing nature of the hip joints predisposes the hips to gradual wear and tear, which can impact the articular cartilage of the ball and socket joint, leading to osteoarthritis (OA).


Hip osteoarthritis

Signs and Symptoms of hip osteoarthritis?

• Pain around the hip joint, groin or referring pain down to the knee
• Pain after long walks, or after standing for a long duration
• Joint stiffness, usually in the morning
• Pinching type pain with particular movements
• Pain is usually intermittent, off/on pain, of varying severity



Treatment of hip osteoarthritis ?

Keep Moving! When people experience pain from OA, they can become less active, which often makes their pain worse. Light stretching, walking, and general exercise decreases stiffness and weakness and improves pain, and preserves the strength of the hip joint!

Tailored Clinical Exercise will help to strengthen the muscles that support your hip (including your gluteals [buttock muscles], hip stabilisers and rotators, and other supporting muscles of the joint), thus decreasing the severity and re-occurrence of your hip pain. Osteoarthritis in general is an irreversible condition, BUT building muscle bulk and strength around the affected joints can help reduce the symptoms of OA.

Referral – If the hip OA pain is unrelenting, or the joint degeneration is severe enough, referral to an orthopaedic surgeon may be indicated, for a potential Total Hip Replacement.

Other things to be aware of:

Flare ups: Re-occurrences of osteoarthritic pain often occur, but it is important to remember that this is a normal pain behaviour for the condition. Complete rest (such as bed rest) is NEVER the answer – keep moving, keep positive – your symptoms will eventually settle down.

Take medication:  During acute flare ups, painkillers and anti-inflammatories can help control the severity of your symptoms. Ask your doctor or pharmacist what medication is right for you and be aware of possible side effects. In severe cases, medication can control the pain so that physical activity can begin.

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