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What Is Hip Osteoarthritis?

Many kinds of arthritis can affect the hip joint but  hip osteoarthritis is the most common. Some people call it “degenerative joint disease” or “age-related arthritis”.  Hip Osteoarthritis is more likely to develop, as people get older.


Hip Osteoarthritis occurs when the joint surface cartilage (also called hyaline cartilage or articular cartilage) becomes worn away leaving the bone beneath exposed. Cartilage is a firm, rubbery material that covers the ends of bones in normal joints and normally serves as a “pad”. The primary function of cartilage is to reduce friction in the joints and serve as a “shock absorber.” The shock-absorbing quality of normal cartilage comes from its ability to change shape when compressed. It can do this because of its high water content. Although cartilage may undergo some repair when damaged, the body does not grow new cartilage after it is injured. When the cartilage wears away, the result is a roughed joint surface that causes the pain and stiffness.

Two other characteristics of the hip osteoarthritis are: bony growths (also known as osteophytes) around the edge of joints and synovitis which is mild inflammation of the tissues around the joint.

 What Causes Hip Osteoarthritis?

The specific cause of hip osteoarthritis is unknown. There are, however, factors that are associated and may contribute to develop hip osteoarthritis. These factors include:

  • Joint injury
  • Repeated surgery
  • Increasing age
  • Being overweight
  • Genetic (inherit) defects in the cartilage
  • Activities that involve extra stress on the hip joint

 Signs And Symptoms Of Hip Osteoarthritis

Pain, during or after movement and eventually even resting. Pain can radiates to the groin, thigh and buttocks.

  • Stiffness, especially in the mornings or after a period of inactivity such as prolonged sitting.
  • Tenderness in/around the hip joint
  • Gradually lost of range of motion that could affect your gait and cause a limp
  • Muscle weakness and tightness.
  • Difficulty performing certain activities of daily living such as: getting in and out of the car, putting socks on, crossing your legs, getting up from a chair.
  • Crunching/grinding sound or feeling during movement.


Physiotherapy Treatment For Hip Osteoarthritis


Step 1 – Thorough History & Assessment

 The key to an effective treatment plan is to have the correct diagnosis. We start every management plan with a thorough history of your condition followed by a physical exam to ensure the correct diagnosis is made and to rule out any medical condition for which further evaluation may be required. We then discuss our findings and treatment options and together come up with a treatment plan. Once this is agreed upon, treatment typically starts on the first visit. On occasion, a referral to your doctor will be necessary for further testing (ex. blood work or x-rays) prior to treatment.


Step 2 – Pain Management

Managing hip pain is usually the main goal for patients with hip osteoarthritis. Your physiotherapist will choose from a variety of modalities the most appropriate for your particular case. These modalities may include electrotherapy (interferential current, TENS), acupuncture, heat/cold therapy, and manual techniques to help improve your pain.


Step 3 – Restoring Range of Motion and StrengthHip Osteoarthritis Treatment

 Increasing range of motion and strength is an important part of the rehabilitation process. Manual therapy techniques (long and short hip traction, traction + mobilization, muscle energy technique, and facilitation techniques) in addition to an exercise routine, including stretching and range of motion exercises will help you to restore hip flexibility. Also, an individualized strengthening exercise program will help to increase your strength, balance and function.


Step 4 – Restoring Function And Providing Walking Aids

Most patients with hip osteoarthritis experience difficulty with certain activities, such as getting in-and-out the car, sitting-to-standing, climbing stairs even walking. Restoring function is the ultimate goal of the physiotherapy treatment. As part of your rehabilitation process, a functional exercise program is designed to help you improve your function and facilitate your daily activities. Sometimes, using assistive devices like a cane could improve your mobility and independence.


Step 5 – Education and Self-Management

Understanding your condition is the first step in your recovery. Educating you about your condition, what to expect and giving you the tools to self-manage is a fundamental part of the rehabilitation process. Good communication with your physiotherapist is key to have positive outcomes.


Why Choose 1 To 1 Physiotherapy At Kinetesis Spine & Joint Clinic?

There are many places around HRM to get Physiotherapy services. At Kinetesis Spine & Joint Clinic, we offer a 1-to-1 Physiotherapy service. What this means is that every session is a 1-to-1 session with our Physiotherapist in a private treatment room, not just the initial session. By offering a 1 to 1 service, you can rest assured that you are getting your therapists full attention and great quality care, every visit. Other advantages to choosing us are:

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To schedule an appointment by phone, please call our office at 902-407-7207, anytime. When you call, we will be happy to answer any questions regarding the conditions we treat, clinic fees and billing practices, or any other questions you may have.