Hip Osteoarthritis

The hip is a common joint that is affected by OA and can result in discomfort when walking, stiffness of the hip after periods of inactivity and a loss of mobility. Severe cases of OA may cause pain while at rest, with swelling and crepitus also experienced. Osteoarthritis can be caused by prior injury to the hip, however the main risk factor for OA is age, with older individuals having a higher rate of occurrence.

Diagnosis of OA is based on the individual history and a physical examination of the hip. The groin and lumbar region may also be examined to exclude other conditions and diagnosis can be assisted by getting a plain radiograph of the hip (i.e. X-ray). Many individuals may find OA changes on imaging, however,  it is important to determine whether these changes are symptomatic.

Illustration of the arthritis of the hip joint on a white background

Treatment for OA is directed at improving your daily physical activity by reducing joint pain, increasing movement of the hip and limiting the progression of damage to the joint. Appropriate treatment can involve reducing the load placed upon the joint by improving the strength of the muscles around the hip and making lifestyle changes such as modifying activities and weight reduction if indicated. Rehabilitation may take place on land or in a hydrotherapy pool. Individual treatment programs are created to enable self-management and long term control of OA symptoms. In severe cases where conservative treatment has been unsuccessful a hip replacement may be indicated. If a specialist opinion is required we can refer you to one of our preferred hip Specialists.

Physica physiotherapists will be able to assess and diagnose your hip pain and offer a wide range of services for rehabilitation including supervised hydrotherapy sessions. Physica hydrotherapy classes run throughout the week and cater for hip OA as well as a range of other conditions.