If you regularly experience stiffness, pain, or inflammation in your joints, the most likely cause is osteoarthritis.
The good news is that there are treatments available that can help relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis and improve your quality of life. In this article, we’ll take a look at the pathophysiology of osteoarthritis, its symptoms, different stages of osteoarthritis of the hip, and treatment options.
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common kinds of arthritis and affects millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the cartilage that covers the end points of each joint starts to wear off, reducing lubrication in the joints and causing pain and stiffness. The most commonly affected areas of the body include the hands, spine, hips, and knees.
It usually starts slowly and worsens over time. Some of the more common symptoms include:
The joint in the hip is a ball-and-socket synovial joint. A ring of cartilage provides shock absorption and stability in the joint. Several ligaments are attached to the joint along with muscles that move them and provide more stability.
Hip osteoarthritis is a normal aging process in the hip joint that occurs when the cartilage that acts as a shock absorber starts to wear out, causing the bones to clash and grate against each other.
Studying osteoarthritis hip X-rays, it has been found that 1 in 10 people over the age of 65 has osteoarthritis of the hip; however, only half report any symptoms.
Let’s take a look at the different stages of osteoarthritis of the hip.
Osteoarthritis is a disease that advances with age; early-onset osteoarthritis describes arthritis that appears in adults under 50. Certain risk factors can contribute to the development of early-onset osteoarthritis:
The disease can be diagnosed from the patient’s symptom history. Patients who are diagnosed with the disease usually complain about stiffness and pain in the knees. The pain is generally located around the joint line, the gap between the top and bottom of the knees.
Osteoarthritis can also be easily diagnosed using an X-ray.
This often shows the narrowing of the joints, making it easy to detect if the bones in the joints are grating against each other or if the cartilage is thinning out.
Patients can also be diagnosed using magnetic resonance imagery (MRI), a more detailed version of an X-ray. An MRI can show degeneration and wearing of the cartilage. In some cases, it can show lost pieces of cartilage.
Treatment for osteoarthritis is centered on symptom management. The best kind of treatment will depend on the severity of the symptoms and location of the disease.
Often, lifestyle changes, over-the-counter medication, and home remedies are enough to help patients with joint stiffness, pain, and swelling.
At-home treatments for osteoarthritis patients include:
Patients can also take over-the-counter medication like oral painkillers, topical painkillers, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, etc.
Using a knee brace for osteoarthritis may have different results for various individuals with the condition.
For most patients, using a knee brace can help reduce pain and improve movement by shifting the weight away from the affected part of the knee.
This can help patients move around more freely. The most commonly used type of knee brace is an unloader knee brace. It is designed to help patients shift their weight from one part of the knee to another.
Daily exercise is an effective way to manage osteoarthritis. This is because physical activity helps to strengthen the muscles around the joints and relieve stiffness. Set a target for at least 20 to 30 minutes of physical activity every other day. Engage in gentle, low-impact activities like swimming or walking.
Other great exercises that can help with hip osteoarthritis include the following:
Before drawing up an exercise plan, patients should check in with their osteoarthritis doctor to ensure it’s done correctly.
Patients should visit a doctor the moment they notice symptoms. Early detection often means the best prognosis for osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis doctors understand the ins and outs of osteoarthritis pathophysiology and can help diagnose the condition, prescribe medication as needed, and recommend the right exercises.
Patients should consider seeing a doctor when they notice any of the following symptoms:
Furthermore, patients should immediately see a doctor if the pain worsens to the point that it’s difficult to perform everyday tasks. Also, if medications and home remedies are no longer effective, patients should not hesitate to see a doctor.
Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease that worsens with time, so it’s most commonly found in older people. Early diagnosis and treatment can often help to prevent or delay the progression of the disease. In addition, engaging in preventive practices such as maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly can help to reduce the risk of developing osteoarthritis.