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Hip Arthritis: Symptoms & Treatment

Do you feel a sharp stabbing or dull ache in the thighs, buttocks, knee or groin as you try to get out of bed?

Pain, swelling and stiffness of the hip joints may be making it difficult for you to follow your daily routine.

It could be hip arthritis that affects almost one in four people in their lifetime and especially who are in occupations that require lot of physical labour. If you are experiencing a similar health condition, then read on to know more about hip arthritis.

Hip arthritis literally means ‘inflammation of the bone joint in the hip region.’ It is a debilitating disease in which the cartilage that supports the hip joint begins to break down due to variety of factors. The cartilage is actually a ‘shock absorber’ for the bone joints. With the thinning of the cartilage, the joint bones begin to rub together as the person moves. This creates pain, swelling, rigidity and loss of mobility. Affect on hip joints is very prominent because they bear all of the body weight when the person makes any movement. Hip osteoarthritis is a gradually progressing disease that is more likely to affect elderly people.

Causes

The exact causes are still not known but it is believed that hip arthritis could result from a combination of factors like injury, increasing age, overweight, genetics, or intense physical workouts. Too much pressure on hip joints erodes cartilage tissue over a period of time.

Symptoms

The initial symptoms of hip arthritis like joint stiffness while sitting for long or when getting out of bed, crackling sound during bodily movements, difficult to bend or restricted hip movements appear slowly making it tricky to nail it right in the beginning. People visit doctor only when the pain becomes unbearable for a longer period of time. By that time, the disease has already progressed to large extent.

Diagnosis

There is no single medical test that can determine incidence of hip arthritis. Doctors usually seek detail medical history through a question-answer session along with a physical examination of the hip area to identify internal swelling and inflammation. X-rays and blood tests may also be done to identify hip arthritis.

Treatment

There is no cure for hip arthritis but the treatment involves management of pain and restoration of mobility of the person. This can be achieved through a combination of lifestyle changes, medication, right exercises and weight management. Avoid doing strenuous exercises that puts lot of pressure on hip joint. Hot or cold compresses could also prove beneficial for pain relief.

Hip replacement surgery is also advised to those who suffer from extreme levels of pain or deformity of hip. The best way to prevent osteoarthritis of hip is by maintaining a healthy weight so exercise regularly to strengthen hip joints. Don’t let hip arthritis dampen your zeal for life! Talk to your doctor to put a suitable treatment plan in place.


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