Hip Osteoarthritis (OA) often develops gradually, over time. While people over 50 have higher incidences of hip OA, young people can also develop it especially with a history of past injury.
As the cartilage of the bones begins to degenerate, and the space within the joint decreases, this leads to pain and stiffness in the hip as it can't roll and glide normally. With increased friction between the ball and socket, this leads to more wear and tear. While we can't change the shape of the bones or reverse it, movement and strengthening are still beneficial to mitigate symptoms.
Common Symptoms of Hip OA:
Groin and hip pain* - pain can radiate to your buttocks, thigh or knee
Stiffness or grinding noise during movement
Limited range of motion
Pain with certain activities such as stair climbing, or sitting crossed legged
Hip pain increases with vigorous activity
*Picture credit AAOS
What To Do:
Seeing a Physical Therapist can help determine what is causing your hip pain through a series of specific movements and special tests. If warranted, the PT will recommend further imaging or following up with an orthopedic.
Depending on the severity of the Hip OA and other medical history, will determine whether to exhaust conservative interventions such as exercises, stretching and manual therapy, or consider surgical options. These surgeries may be a hip replacement, hip resurfacing or hip osteotomy. While there is always a risk with surgery, these procedures tend to have very positive outcomes. After surgery, people will resume physical therapy to learn what movements are safe to regain their strength and range of motion, and learn how to walk again without compensations.
If you or someone you know are dealing with hip pain, share this link with them.
Movement is Medicine!