Hip osteoarthritis is the inflammation and wearing away of the cartilage of the hip joint, a condition that is more likely to develop as people age. It can develop at any age, although it is more commonly diagnosed in older adults. Osteoarthritis results when injury or inflammation in a joint causes the soft, shock-absorbing cartilage that lines and cushions the joint surfaces to break down. When the cartilage is damaged, the joint can become painful and swollen. Over time, this condition can cause stiffness, muscle weakness, and increasing pain, leading to limited function.
There is no one reason to develop hip OA. The incidence of developing symptoms from hip OA increase with age and in people who have injured their hip in the past. The lifetime risk, the probability of developing symptomatic hip OA over the lifetime, is 25%.
Recent research found no difference in the rate of occurrence of hip OA in the general public based on race, gender, weight, or educational level.
More severe cases of hip OA may require hip joint replacement surgery. Whether or not patients have surgery, physiotherapists design specific exercise and treatment programs to manage pain and get people with hip OA moving again.
Hip OA may cause symptoms including:
Your physiotherapist at Alton Pain Clinic in Alton, Hampshire will conduct a full examination that includes your medical history, and will ask you questions such as:
Your physiotherapist will perform special tests to help determine whether you have hip OA, such as:
Your physiotherapist may use additional tests to look for problems in other parts of your body, such as your lower back. The therapist may recommend that you consult with an orthopaedic specialist, who can order diagnostic testing such as an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to confirm the diagnosis.
Your physiotherapist at Alton Pain Clinic in Alton, Hampshire will explain what hip OA is, how it is treated, the benefits of exercise, the importance of increasing overall daily physical activity, and how to protect the hip joint while walking, sitting, climbing stairs, standing, carrying loads, and lying in bed.
Testing will reveal any specific physical problems you have that are related to hip OA, such as loss of motion, muscle weakness, or balance problems. Addressing the problems in surrounding body regions, such as the spine and the lower extremity, is important to the treatment of hip OA.
The pain of hip OA can be reduced through simple, safe, and effective physical activities like walking, riding a bike, or swimming.
Although physical activity can delay the onset of disability from hip OA, people may avoid being physically active because of their pain and stiffness, confusion about how much and what exercise to do, and not knowing when they will see benefits. Your physiotherapist will be able to guide you in learning a personal exercise program that will help reduce your particular pain and stiffness.
Your physiotherapist will work with you to:
Your physiotherapist can use different types of treatments and technologies to control and reduce your pain, including ice, heat, electrical stimulation, taping, exercises, and hands-on (manual) therapy techniques, such as joint mobilization and soft-tissue mobilization.
Your physiotherapist will choose specific activities and treatments to help restore normal movement in the leg and hip. These might begin with "passive" motions that the physiotherapist performs for you to gently move your leg and hip joint, and progress to active exercises and stretches that you perform yourself. Your physiotherapist also may use sustained stretches and manual therapy techniques that gently move the joint and stretch the muscles around the joint.
Certain exercises will benefit healing at each stage of recovery; your physiotherapist will choose and teach you the appropriate exercises to steadily restore your strength and agility. These may include using your own body weight as resistance, or using weights, resistance bands, weight-lifting equipment, and cardio (heart) exercise equipment, such as treadmills or stationary bicycles.
Your physiotherapist will design a specific treatment program to speed your recovery. Your therapist is trained and experienced in choosing the right treatments and exercises to help you heal, return to your normal lifestyle, and reach your goals faster than you are likely to do on your own.
Your physiotherapist at Alton Pain Clinic in Alton, Hampshire will design your treatment program to help you return to work or sport in the safest, fastest, and most effective way possible. You may engage in work retraining activities, or learn sport-specific techniques and drills to help you achieve your goals. Activity modification is essential for a safe return to activity, and to help control symptoms that may hinder your return.
In severe cases of hip OA, the hip joint degenerates until bone is rubbing on bone. This condition can require hip joint replacement surgery. Physiotherapy is an essential part of postsurgical recovery, which can take several months.
If you undergo hip joint replacement surgery, a physiotherapist will visit you in your hospital room to help you get out of bed and teach you how to walk, and will explain any movements that you must avoid to protect the healing hip area.
Hospital physiotherapists will work with you daily in the hospital and then once you are discharged, physiotherapists at Alton Pain Clinic in Alton, Hampshire will be an integral part of your care and recovery, helping you minimize pain, restore motion and strength, and return to normal activities in the speediest yet safest manner possible after surgery.