What is osteoarthritis?

Hip Pain

Have you ever wondered what is causing your arthritis in the hip or other joint that causes so much pain and discomfort? Our joints are protected by cartilage that keeps the ends of our bones from rubbing together. As we get older, normal wear and tear weakens this cartilage which can eventually leave the bones to painfully rub against each other. This is known as osteoarthritis and is the most common cause of arthritis in the hip and other major joints.

What are risk factors of osteoarthritis?

While osteoarthritis is an age-related disease and we cannot reverse the aging process, there are factors that can increase the likelihood or severity of that arthritis in your hip:

  • Excess weight — Being overweight causes your joints to have to support a heavier load than they were meant to and can prematurely wear down cartilage.
  • Injury — Joint injuries can increase the risk of osteoarthritis. As the joint heals from injury, scar tissue can form which is fibrous and less flexible than cartilage.
  • Genetics — There is a genetic component to osteoarthritis where patients may inherit a tendency to form excess bone growth or joint deformities which can limit the protective cartilage.
  • Occupation — Certain jobs that require repetitive tasks can increase the risk of arthritis. People who type may develop arthritis in the hands, while warehouse workers may develop arthritis in the hip or back from the strain of repetitive lifting.

What can I do to help fight osteoarthritis?

The single best thing you can do to help combat osteoarthritis is to exercise. Light workouts will help maintain joint movement. This can be as simple as walking or hiking. Doing yoga or stretching can help keep your joints flexible and increase range of motion.

Maintaining your weight can help reduce stress on the joints, while taking NSAIDs and using ice packs can help reduce pain and inflammation.

Can physical therapy help me?

Physical therapy is an excellent treatment option for patients who suffer arthritis in the hip or other major joints. A therapist will perform a complete evaluation and take your medical history to identify the most effective treatments for you.

Holland Physical Therapy works with patients suffering from osteoarthritis to help them regain their quality of life. Contact one of our friendly administrative staff today to set up your initial appointment.