The main type of arthritis is Osteoarthritis which most affects people who are older, typically over 50 years old. A lesser type is Rheumatoid arthritis which mainly targets middle aged - elderly women. There are other types of arthritis but they are extremely less common than these two. The rest of this article will focus on Osteoarthritis which is almost 8 times more likely than Rheumatoid arthritis.
The basic definition of hip arthritis is an aging condition brought on by the general wear and tear of the hip joint over time. The protective cartilage that separates the bones that meet at the joint is worn down which opens up the joint for bone on bone and bursa contact, which leads to significant hip joint and hip flexor pain.
Hip Arthritis Causes
There is no single cause that is attributed to Osteoarthritis, there are several factors that can contribute to your chance of having the condition; genetics for example can play a large role in this. That being said, there are some things that have been linked to developing hip arthritis:
If you are overweight everything that you do will put more stress on your hip joint, which will accelerate any development of hip arthritis.
Similar to being overweight, when you have bad posture you put more stress on certain parts of your body than you should, the hip joint included. While there may not be many short term effects of this hip arthritis can be a long term result.
If you have had any traumatic hip injuries (like a complete hip flexor strain)in the past you are more likely to develop hip arthritis. Previous injuries can cause scar tissue to develop, move body parts slightly out of place, and change your walking and sitting posture.
The nature of the condition means that any hip joint pain will only get worse as the cartilage continues to degrade, which means that it is crucial to try to recognize hip arthritis early on for treatment.
If you have hip arthritis you will experience pain with common everyday activities like walking, sitting, anything with movement really. You may also feel a lot of stiffness in the hip area and have trouble walking correctly.
There are limited options to reverse the effects of hip arthritis other than hip replacement surgery. Typically this is put off as long as possible as any surgery comes with cost and risk of complications.
If you are diagnosed with hip arthritis you will most likely be recommended to try one of the following to reduce pain and limit further cartilage deterioration.
Lose Weight: It may not always be applicable, but for the reasons explained above, if you are overweight it will take some stress off your joints if you lose a few pounds.
Walking Assistance: No one enjoys it, but using a walker or a cane can really make a big difference in managing the pain by taking stress off of your hip joint(s).
Painkillers: Usually not the first recommendation, but if there is also inflammation present in your hip (often in Rheumatoid arthritis), you may be given painkillers/anti-inflammatories
Strengthening Routine: If you follow a hip flexor strengthening routine you can also relieve some pressure that is directly on the hip joint, which will reduce pain.
There is no way to prevent hip arthritis for sure, but if you follow the suggestions in the treatment section of this article you can help to minimize your chances of developing the condition.