Arthritis of the Hip
The term arthritis means “inflammation of the joint.’’ Arthritis is one of the most common causes of pain in the hip. Arthritis is a progressive disorder, which means that it starts gradually and gets worse with time. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and is more present in older than younger people. it is often described as a wear and tear of the joints.
The hip joint consists of the ball-shaped end of the thigh bone (femoral head) which fits into the hip socket (acetabular socket). The inside of this ball-and-socket joint is lined with smooth cartilage to help the joint move easily. If this smooth cartilage wears away, the remaining rough surfaces of the ball-and-socket grind against each other, causing pain. Over time, osteoarthritis can degenerate or permanently damage the joint.
Another type of arthritis is Rheumatoid arthritis, but is a systemic disorder that affects your entire body and not just the hip joint. The inflammation is related to an immune system response rather than wear and tear. The hip joint is protected by a special capsule that completely surrounds the joint. This capsule has a synovial lining and is filled with lubricant that helps the joint move smoothly. With Rheumatoid arthritis, the synovial lining swells, causing pain and swelling eventually damaging the bone and cartilage of the joint itself.
- Pain in the hip joint that may include pain in the groin, outer thigh, or buttocks
- Pain that is typically worse in the morning and lessens with activity
- Difficulty walking or walking with a limp
- Pain that worsens with vigorous or extended activity
- Stiffness in the hip or limited range of motion
- Fatigue and weakness is also present with patients having Rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.
Causes and Risk factors
- Arthritis of the hip usually occurs in people as they enter their 60's and 70's.
- This varies depending on your weight, activity level and the structure of your unique hip joint.
- Arthritis may be caused by many factors, including simple wear and tear, inflammatory disorders such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, infections or injury.
Complications of hip arthritis
- Rapid, complete breakdown of cartilage resulting in loose tissue material in the joint (chondrolysis).
- Bone death (osteonecrosis).
- Stress fractures (hairline crack in the bone that develops gradually in response to repeated injury or stress).
- Bleeding inside the joint.
- Infection in the joint.
- Deterioration or rupture of the tendons and ligaments around the joint, leading to loss of stability.
- Pinched nerve (in osteoarthritis of the spine).
Prevention of Hip Arthritis
- Losing weight may help lessen the effect of osteoarthritis
• Stretch and warm up before exercise. Cool down afterward.
• Don't overdo it. If you experience pain when exercising, stop and cool down.
• Wear properly fitting shoes.
- Avoid running on hard surfaces like asphalt and concrete when possible.
- It is not fully understood what causes Rheumatoid arthritis
Things to do at home for Hip Arthritis
- Exercise, which can strengthen the muscles around the hip joint
- Losing weight which will decrease the stress on the hip joint
- Use heat and cold to manage pain
- Applying over the counter pain creams
- Use assistive devices and tools to ease your movement and ability to reach for things.
Treatment of Hip Arthritis
We use the following approaches to treat Arthritis of the hip.
- ASTR® Tools: Our doctors use a variety of ASTR® tools to release scar tissue and myofascial restriction, which can decrease mobility and flexibility.
- Special exercise program to decrease pain, strengthen the muscles, stabilize and help the patient to return to normal function and activities.
- Special instructions on how to speed up the recovery time.
- Cold Laser Therapy: Tissue inflammation is common with hip arthritis. Cold laser is used in order to decrease inflammation that causes pressure on the affected area.