Hip arthritis is a common type of arthritis and affects a lot of people. It can cause a wide range of problems because the hip is a weight-bearing joint. Hip arthritis can be managed effectively with treatment if the symptoms are diagnosed early.
The most common symptoms of hip arthritis are stiffness and pain which become worse over time. The pain will start off as mild but will worsen and become more persistent if not treated.
Movement will usually relieve stiffness in the hip joints though they can get worse during periods of rest. Cold weather usually exacerbates the pain. Patients may also suffer from morning stiffness, which may typically last for 30 minutes. Some patients will experience localised pain to the groin area as well as the thigh. The hip can also have limited range of motion and pain with weight-bearing. If the condition worsens the symptoms may become more persistent and painful.
How to Diagnose Hip Arthritis?
Pain in the hip region may refer from the low back, the pelvis or the knee. The first thing a Chiropractor does is take a full medical history. They will identify the exact location of the pain and find out what makes it worse and what relieves it. They will also investigate the possible causes. The Chiropractor will complete a physical examination of the patient and perform several tests, including orthopaedic and neurological assessments, muscle strength/tone and postural analysis. Of course the best way to diagnose hip arthritis is with an x-ray.
Options for Hip Arthritis Treatment
In treating hip arthritis, it is best to first consider non-surgical and non-drug treatments. Physical therapy is recommended for strengthening and stretching the muscles. Some aerobic exercise will further benefit rehabilitation.
Treatment for hip osteoarthritis has two main goals – to reduce pain and inflammation and rehabilitation. Once pain and inflammation are under control the chiropractor and patient work together to prevent the problem from reoccurring. This rehabilitation process may include:
- Adjustment and mobilisation of the hip and other involved areas.
- Active soft tissue therapy.
- Education on home exercises, which includes stretching and strengthening exercises.
- Lifestyle changes to prevent aggravation of the injury.
- Orthotics or shoe inserts
A course of Chiropractic treatment can improve hip mobility. By using hands-on treatment techniques and combining these with home exercise, it is possible to restore hip function if the arthritis is not severe.