Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common condition that can affect many joints in the body. It is often seen on x-rays as narrowing of the joint space. Sometimes bone spurs are present. Often the lining of the joint is inflamed. This can cause significant pain and difficulty performing daily activities. If this condition is affecting your life, you may be wondering what your treatment options are. A recent article in the journal Physical Therapy discuses the most current evidence-based treatments for OA of the hip(1).
The international community recommends conservative care first. This includes a combined approach using education, exercise and weight loss to manage hip pain and improve function. Exercise provides numerous benefits for hip OA including:
- Improved muscle strength. When supporting muscles are strong they absorb impact forces so the hip joint doesn’t have to.
- Increased joint range of motion. Good flexibility is important because it lessens the stress on joints.
- Decreased joint pain.
- Better physical function.
- Pain medications. Over the counter medications are recommended first. These include non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, often called NSAIDs.
- Joint replacement surgery. This option is reserved for people who have significant pain and limitations in daily activities and who have failed conservative treatments.
If you are suffering from hip pain and find yourself limited in the things you enjoy doing, contact our clinic for a physical therapy assessment. Our staff of trained therapists looks forward to helping you decrease your pain so you can get back to your normal daily routine.
- Poquet N, Williams M, Bennell KL. Exercise for osteoarthritis of the hip. Physical Therapy. 2016; Volume 96 (11): 1689-1694.