Osteoarthritis is the most common type of hip arthritis. Also called wear-and-tear arthritis or degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis is characterized by progressive wearing away of the cartilage of the joint. As the protective cartilage is worn away by hip arthritis, bare bone is exposed within the joint.
Who develops hip arthritis?
Hip arthritis typically affects patients over 50 years of age. It is more common in people who are overweight, and weight loss tends to reduce the symptoms associated with hip arthritis. There is also a genetic predisposition of this condition, meaning hip arthritis tends to run in families. Other factors that can contribute to developing hip arthritis include traumatic injuries to the hip and fractures to the bone around the joint.
What are the common symptoms of hip arthritis?
Hip arthritis symptoms tend to progress as the condition worsens. What is interesting about hip arthritis is that symptoms do not always progress steadily with time. Often patients report good months and bad months or symptom changes with weather changes. This is important to understand because comparing the symptoms of hip arthritis on one particular day may not accurately represent the overall progression of the condition.
The most common symptoms of hip arthritis are:
- Pain with activities
- Limited range of motion
- Stiffness of the hip
- Walking with a limp
Evaluation of a patient with hip arthritis should begin with a physical examination and x-rays. These can serve as a baseline to evaluate later examinations and determine progression of the condition.
Some common methods of chiropractic treatment include: weight loss, activity modification, checking of joint function and alignment of the hip joint and the joints above and below the hip, stretching of shortened muscles in the hip and pelvis, strengthening of the muscles such as the “glutes” for better control and balance, walking aids and natural anti-inflammatory supplements.