Hip Arthritis - Prevention, Treatment and Living Aids


Hip arthritis affects two of the largest weight-bearing joints of the body, which along with the large muscles that support those joints, contribute to your ability to move. The pain from arthritis ranges from mild pain that you can treat with ice packs to severe debilitating pain that surgical replacement of the hip joint is the only option.

As with any time you are not feeling well and experience consistent discomfort, you should consult a physician to get an accurate diagnosis. The symptoms of arthritis are often similar to other diseases and they include:

  • Joint stiffness in the morning after sleeping all night.
  • Joint stiffness when you sit for a long period of time in one position
  • Inability to bend.
  • Swelling, tenderness or pain in the hip region.
  • Feeling or hearing crunching in the hip from the rubbing of bone on bone.

The good news is that the doctors have treatment protocols for hip arthritis that although doctors cannot cure arthritis, they can often slow down the progression of the disease and decrease the pain. You also have a variety of products to remain active and independent.

Osteoarthritis of the Hip

Degenerative arthritis or osteoarthritis is when the protective cartilage on the ends of the bones wears down, resulting in stiffness and pain in the hips. Hip arthritis is difficult to diagnosis at times, as the symptoms often appear as pain in the knee, groin, thigh or buttocks. Movement of the hip can be stiff, and the type of pain varies from sharp, stabbing pain to a dull ache.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Hip

Rheumatoid arthritis of the hip occurs when the immune system of the body attacks the hip joint. This autoimmune disease occurs in women more often than men, and often the smaller joints such as those in the fingers and wrists are affected first and then it starts in the hip.

The symptoms include swelling, severe pain, warmth and stiffness in the hip but similar to osteoarthritis, the pain might be in the low back, thigh and groin. Tiredness, loss of appetite, and fever are additional symptoms that often appear.

Juvenile Arthritis of the Hip

Hip arthritis develops in 30 to 50% of children who have juvenile idiopathic arthritis or juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Children share the same symptoms as adults with stiffness, pain and swelling in the hip, however, they are still growing and often suffer greater damage to the bone and cartilage, as well as joint deformity. Doctors use medication, physical and occupational therapy as well as physical activity to minimize pain and joint damage and to maximize physical abilities.

Prevention and Treatment

Maintaining or achieving your proper body weight and exercise are effective and proven means of managing and lessening the likelihood of developing hip arthritis. Exercise and keeping active, strengthens the muscles around hip joint, which eases some of the wear and tear of the cartilage.

If you already have arthritis of the hip, under the supervision of your health care professional, you can:

  • Take pain relievers and nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs.

  • Use canes or other mobility supports to lessen the weight on the painful hip.

  • Use raptor reachers, long handled shoehorns or elastic shoelaces when bending and stretching is restricted.

  • Cold packs, hot packs or alternating hot and cold packs.

  • Rest.

  • As a last resort when nothing else has worked, try surgical interventions, which range from total replacement of the joint and hip resurfacing whereby the surgeon replaces some of the hip surface with metal.

Depending on the progression of the disease, you have a variety of arthritis living aids from which to choose. From mobility scooters to walking canes, from the heated mattress pad to the bathtub grab bar, you can continue moving and staying independent in your world.

Diseases such as hip arthritis can seriously impair your quality of life unless the progression of the disease is slowed and the symptoms are treated. Fortunately, you have treatment options and various products are available for you to maintain your independence, so you have hope in the face of an arthritis diagnosis. Ongoing research continues to look for cures and treatments for this very painful condition.

Aids to Keep You Moving and Safe

Electric Mobility Scooters - offer the riders numerous features such as soft seats, with some being able to swivel so that getting on and off is easy.

Couch Cane - standing aids make it easier and safer for seniors and people with mobility problems to stand up from a sitting position.

Raised Toilet Seat - not having to bend as much and by having a toilet seat with handles reduces  your risk of falling or sustaining an injury.

Bathroom Grab Bars inside and outside the shower, should definitely have grab bars, as accidents are most likely to occur in this vicinity.

Memory Foam Seat Cushion - The main advantage of the product is its ability to mold to the body's shape by responding to heat, thereby providing more support.

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