Arthritis is acute or chronic inflammation of a joint, and conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are among the most common causes of hip pain, especially in older adults.
Osteoarthritis most often affects patients over 50 years of age, is more common in people who are overweight and tends to run in families. Other factors that can contribute to the development of hip arthritis include traumatic injuries to the hip and fractures to the bone around the joint. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease; in other words, the immune system attacks the patient’s own body. Although the cause of RA is not known, experts believe that genetics, environmental factors and hormones may play a role.
Symptoms of hip arthritis may include:
- Pain and stiffness, which may particularly be felt in the thigh, lower back, and groin
- Limited range of motion/walking with a limp
Symptoms may or may not worsen steadily over time, so the progression of the disease may be difficult to gauge.
- Regular exercise will strengthen muscles that support joints and help maintain flexibility.
- Flexibility is important to preventing painful falls.
- Physical therapy can help you learn ways to move without pain or injury.
- Occupational therapy is helpful in learning easier ways to perform activities of daily living, such as dressing, cooking, eating, or cleaning.
- Hip surgery is an option when severe pain or joint destruction causes immobility.
- For patients with earlier stage RA of the hip, hip arthroscopy may help to ease pain.
- For more severe disease, total joint replacement may be recommended.