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Getting Started with a Hip Arthritis Treatment Plan

by Patty Weasler, RN April 05, 2021 0 Comments

Senior holding cane

While there is no cure for hip arthritis, treatment options aim to reduce the pain and inflammation, and recommended treatment plans typically begin with non-surgical management techniques like medication, exercise, and stretching, however; if these are not effective, surgery may be recommended. Keep reading to learn how you can manage hip pain caused by arthritis.

Non-Surgical Ways to Treat Hip Arthritis

The most common types of hip arthritis are osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear of the hip joint as we age. Rheumatoid arthritis is when the body’s immune system becomes overactive and attacks joints. Some treatments can work for both types, whereas other treatments will only work for one type. In this section, we’ll talk about how you can manage the pain associated with both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis of the hip.

Learn More About the Types of Hip Arthritis Here

Manage Pain

In both types of arthritis one of the major concerns is how to manage the pain. There are several options for pain management to choose from. Pain creams and medications being two of the most popular. Check out more about them below.

  • Topical Creams

    A topical pain cream is applied to the skin and eases joint pain from arthritis. One option is a CBD pain cream that uses a cooling sensation with CBD extract to provide pain relief. There are other types of pain creams that warm the area to soothe the pain. 

  • Anti-Inflammatory Medications

    Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like naproxen (Aleve) and ibuprofen (Advil) are over-the-counter pain relievers that also reduce overall inflammation. They are effective treatments for arthritis and generally have minimal side effects. Another pain reliever, acetaminophen (Tylenol), can also be used in conjunction with an NSAID but does not provide the same anti-inflammatory properties. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before you start a new medication.

  • Injections

    Corticosteroid injections are injected directly into the joint and decrease inflammation and pain. This treatment can be very successful for some people and not so much for others. Talk to your doctor to determine if you are a good candidate for this treatment option.

  • Compression & Heat Application

    Using compression can provide gentle warmth that helps to promote blood flow and reduce inflammation. During the day, try wearing a hip brace and when you're sedentary, apply a moist heating pad to the affected joints.

Use Walking Aids

If walking causes your arthritis to flare up then consider using a cane. A cane or other walking aid can help to better distribute your weight and unload pressure on your hip joints. 

Choosing the Best Walking Cane

Lose Weight

Weight loss can protect your hip joint and improve your lifestyle. Losing weight will decrease the stress and strain on your hip making movement easier and less painful. Weight loss isn’t easy and there is no one solution that works for everyone. Talk to your doctor about increasing physical activity and diet modifications that will work for you and improve your hip arthritis symptoms.

Exercise

Exercise and stretching can help you manage the symptoms of hip arthritis. Exercise will help you maintain mobility, lose weight, and strengthen muscles. Gentle exercises like yoga and swimming are great places to start. Stretch regularly to keep your range of motion, reduce joint stiffness, and pain.

Effective Exercise for Hip Arthritis Treatment

Reduced or Modified Activity

If you have hip arthritis now is not the time to start up or even continue high-impact activities like running. Change it up and take up cycling, tai chi, yoga or swimming. You need to cut back on the activities that aggravate your symptoms to ultimately find relief.

Seek Guidance from Physical Therapist

Physical therapy is a great option when you suffer from joint pain associated with hip arthritis. The physical therapist will work to create a personalized treatment plan that keeps you mobile but also reduces your pain. If your mobility is compromised a physical therapist will have suggestions for walking aids like canes or walkers to take the pressure off of your joint. 

What Are My Surgical Options?

If conservative non-surgical options don’t provide you pain relief your doctor may suggest surgery. An orthopedic doctor will review your medical history, perform a physical exam, and likely order some tests such as x-rays or blood work. The type of surgery you have will depend upon several factors such as age, the severity of the illness, type of arthritis, and much more. Here are the surgical options for hip arthritis:

  • Total Hip Replacement Surgery

    During a hip replacement, the surgeon removes all of the damaged bone and cartilage of the hip socket and femur. Then replaces it with a metal or plastic joint.

  • Hip Resurfacing  

    This procedure involves removing the damaged bone and cartilage in the hip socket (acetabulum) and replacing it with a metal shell. Unlike a total hip replacement, the femur head is not removed but covered with metal.

What to Expect

Hip arthritis is a lifelong condition that doesn’t have to slow you down. There are several successful treatment options that can provide great pain relief and improve your mobility. Treatment generally starts at home with exercise, stretching, and medication. If that does not improve your symptoms then surgery may be indicated. Always talk to your doctor before you begin treatment.

Resources:

https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/osteoarthritis-of-the-hip/

https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/inflammatory-arthritis-of-the-hip

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327023#treatment

Hip Arthritis Products

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Patty Weasler, RN
Patty Weasler, RN

Patty Weasler is a freelance health writer and nurse. She is certified in critical care nursing and has been practicing for over 10 years. Patty lives in Milwaukee, WI with her husband and three children. She enjoys spending her time with family and educating people about their health.



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