What is osteoarthritis of the hip?
Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition that causes the cartilage in the joints to gradually degrade, which in turn puts greater pressure on the bones during movement. This can cause pain and result in a thickening of the bone end, as well as bone outgrowths or protrusions, which may lead to decreased joint mobility.
Osteoarthritis is a common disorder that occurs in 5% of the population, with increasing frequency as we age. Besides osteoarthritis, there are other general conditions that can lead to pain in the hips and groin. You can read more about general hip and groin pain here.
With age inevitably comes some form of osteoarthritis, which occurs as the cartilage degrades and gradually weakens. Osteoarthritis does also have a hereditary component which can lead to a dysfunctional joint structure in the hip and/or damage to the hip joint.
Correct training and exercise will help to protect you against osteoarthritis, but it is also an important avenue of treatment if you already suffer from osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is usually experienced as stiffness in the hip joint and pain when pressure is put on it. The pain is frequently located in the groin and deep in the buttock area. In some cases, the pain will radiate downwards towards the knee.
If nothing is done to treat the condition, the pain will slowly intensify and may grow to a level where the pain is experienced even during inactivity.
Diagnosis and treatment
With exercise, you can significantly improve functionality and reduce your pain symptoms, but it is important to realize that it will not eliminate the osteoarthritis itself as it is an irreversible condition. Swimming and cycling are effective activities for this purpose, but where possible, you should refrain from running, performing gymnastics or jumping. When out walking it is important to wear shock-absorbing shoes to reduce the amount of tension traveling from the foot to the hip.
Use the Injurymap diagnosis tool to find out if you are ready to treat your hip osteoarthritis with rehabilitative exercises.
During rehabilitation, it is important to stretch the tightened muscles and to exercise the weakened muscles around the hip area. If you suffer from osteoarthritis, being overweight will only worsen the condition, affecting functionality and increasing your levels of hip pain. If you are overweight, then a weight reduction program is advised. Daily activity and training will help you achieve to this.