The thought of developing hip arthritis is scary. It can cause serious pain and limit mobility. As people become more and more active even into the later years of their life, hip arthritis becomes more and more common. Fortunately, if the development of hip arthritis is caught early on, there is great opportunity for a person to preserve their quality of life and significantly slow the development of symptoms associated with hip arthritis.
Our hips are categorized as ball and socket joints. Cartilage covers the hip joint and this slippery tissue works to create a smooth surface around the joint so that friction does not occur when the bones move. Instead of the bones rubbing against each other, the cartilage allows the bones in the joint to smoothly glide over each other. When arthritis develops, the ability of the hip joint to properly function without friction is reduced and the result can be very painful as well as leading to stiffness in the hip joint. It is actually quite common for a person to develop arthritis in both hip joints. However, both hip joints are not usually impacted to the same extent and one hip joint is usually in much worse of a state than the other.
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis. It is known as a degenerative joint disease and tends to develop as people get into advanced years of age. Osteoarthritis develops when there is inflammation and injury to a joint that causes the cartilage tissues to breakdown. As stated above, the cartilage tissue is responsible for preventing friction between joints such as the hip joint. When the cartilage breaks down, pain and swelling can quickly develop. Osteoarthritis happens over time as the protective cartilage lining around the bones deteriorates. The bones begin to rub together and can cause a host of painful symptoms.
Signs of hip arthritis include:
- Hip pain (especially after periods of inactivity)
- Hip stiffness
- Limited movement and loss of range of motion
- Development of spurs (bony overgrowths)
- Stiffness (especially during periods of inactivity)
- Pain radiating from the groin or thigh area to your knee or outer thigh
- Pain that causes walking difficulty
- Locking of the hip joint
- Grinding noises when moving
- Increased pain during damp weather
- Pain when leaning over
- Trouble exiting a car
While there is no cure for hip arthritis, remaining vigilant in discussing these symptoms with your doctor can help catch the problem early on. With early interventions such as physical therapy, avoiding certain activities, taking prescription medication, or even undergoing joint surgery, you can greatly reduce the symptoms associated with hip arthritis. Without medical intervention, symptoms will get worse. Hip arthritis can lead to rapid deterioration of hip range of motion.
Hip arthritis can greatly effect your quality of pain. It interferes with mobility, your ability to take on every day tasks, and it can be incredibly uncomfortable and painful. Know that you have options to treat hip arthritis. Time is of the essence as hip arthritis is a progressively deteriorating condition. Take control of your health and consult with a doctor about your options regarding hip arthritis treatment as soon as possible.