Hip Arthritis


If you’re suffering from hip pain, stiffness, or a limited range of motion, you might be dealing with hip arthritis. This condition affects millions around the world and can have a major impact on your ability to move and live life to the fullest.

It’s more than just a slight discomfort – it’s a degenerative joint disorder that causes inflammation of one or more joints in the hip. Different types of hip arthritis have their own sets of symptoms and treatments. Knowing the differences is essential to effectively managing the condition.

Let’s look at the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments available for hip arthritis. We’ll also discuss potential complications from surgical treatments and the recovery process.

Causes of Hip Arthritis

  • Age: Aging is a common factor associated with hip arthritis. As the body ages, the cartilage in the hip joint can wear down, leading to arthritis.
  • Genetics: Genetic predisposition can make someone more susceptible to anterior or posterior hip pain, which may require physical therapy for relief.
  • Previous hip injuries: Injuries to the hip, such as fractures or dislocations, can increase the risk of developing arthritis in the hip later in life.
  • Obesity: Carrying extra weight puts additional pressure on the hips, leading to damage over time and increasing the risk of arthritis.
  • Metabolic conditions: Conditions like diabetes can affect the body’s ability to repair damaged tissues, contributing to the development of hip arthritis.

Symptoms of Hip Arthritis

If you’re consistently feeling discomfort in your pelvic area, particularly during movement or after long periods of rest, it could be a sign that something’s wrong. This could signify hip arthritis, which usually displays certain symptoms.

  1. Hip Pain When Squatting: Squatting can become harder and more painful because of the swollen joints in your hip region.
  2. Hip Pain When Straddling: You may feel pain when doing activities that involve stretching your legs apart, such as getting on a bicycle.
  3. Hip Pain When Coughing: A sharp discomfort can occur in the hip area during coughing due to the pressure applied on your hips.
  4. Hip Pain After Walking Long Distances: Continuous discomfort or stiffness in your hip after walking long distances is another common symptom.

Pay attention to these signals from your body and promptly seek medical attention for an accurate diagnosis and treatment choices.

Diagnosis of Hip Arthritis

When experiencing hip pain, your doctor may use several diagnostic tools to identify the cause. X-rays can provide a clear picture of your hip joint and detect any degenerative changes, which could be a sign of arthritis. MRI and CT scans offer a more detailed view, allowing for an analysis of both the bones and the nearby soft tissues.


This non-invasive procedure can help pinpoint areas where inflammation has caused damage and determine the type and stage of arthritis.

X-ray held by a male doctor dressed in scrubsPhoto Credit: drobotdean, Freepik

The x-ray for hip pain also helps your physiotherapist or masseuse create an effective treatment plan tailored to your specific needs, as they’ll know exactly where the problem lies. Remember, knowledge is power – understanding your condition allows you to take control and seek appropriate treatments like hip pain massage or targeted physio exercises.


Beyond X-rays, you may also be asked to undergo an MRI scan. MRIs can create detailed images of soft tissues and organs, providing a thorough view of what is happening inside your body. This tool can uncover issues not visible through an X-ray.

In regards to hip arthritis, an MRI is especially beneficial. It helps determine the types of hip arthritis you have. An MRI for hip pain reveals inflammation and any structural abnormalities and early degenerative changes in cartilage or bone that may not be visible on an x-ray.

This information is essential for forming an exact hip arthritis treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and intended for successful relief from pain.

CT Scan

CT scan provides a more detailed image of your bones, making it a vital tool for detecting hip arthritis.

Here are some key points about CT scan for hip pain:

  • It can detect any abnormalities in bone structure associated with hip pain caused by arthritis.
  • Unlike MRI, it uses X-rays to generate images.
  • It is useful when you have metal implants that could obstruct an MRI.
  • After diagnosis, physiotherapy for hip pain is a potential option.

doctor pointing to the hip and pelvic region discussing hip arthritis
Photo Credit: DCStudio Freepik

Comprehending these tools is essential as they are a part of your journey towards comfort from the pain caused by arthritis. Remember, the right hip arthritis treatment begins with accurate diagnosis.


When considering treatment for hip arthritis, both non-surgical and surgical treatments are available. Non-surgical treatments often include lifestyle changes, physical therapy, and medications to reduce pain and improve movement. If these treatments cannot provide relief, your doctor may recommend surgical options such as hip replacement or resurfacing surgery as a more definitive solution.

Nonsurgical Treatment

When considering nonsurgical treatment options for hip arthritis, several effective strategies can be used. Modifying lifestyle and undergoing physical therapy can improve flexibility, reduce pain, and increase strength. Assistive devices, such as walkers or canes, provide much-needed support. Medications, like NSAIDs or corticosteroids, help manage inflammation and provide relief.

Lifestyle modifications

You’ll be surprised how simple lifestyle changes can drastically reduce hip arthritis pain and enhance your overall quality of life.

Consider using a pillow or a wedge cushion while driving to alleviate discomfort. Wearing a hip belt for pain can also provide relief.

These alterations, in combination with maintaining a healthy weight and regular exercise, can significantly reduce your symptoms.

Physical therapy

Embracing physical therapy can be a game changer for managing discomfort and improving mobility. A physio hip pain program can provide exercises to increase strength and flexibility.

Alternative therapies, such as acupuncture for hip pain, may also offer relief.

physiotherapy performed by therapist for hip arthritis
Photo Credit: Freepik

Incorporating pilates or yoga for hip pain into your routine could boost joint health and give you the freedom from pain you desire.

Assistive devices

Navigating your world doesn’t have to be a struggle. You can regain independence and find pleasure in everyday activities with appropriate assistive devices.

When symptoms of hip arthritis become difficult, these tools can relieve your pain. Braces that support movement and walking aids that offer stability are essential parts of treatment after diagnosis.

Embrace these solutions to make living with hip arthritis more manageable.


When it comes to pain management, a wide selection of medications available can reduce inflammation and provide relief.

From hip pain after a C-section to discomfort from intense activities such as deadlifts, the right medicine can be beneficial.

Post-pregnancy hip pain can also be managed with suitable medication.

It’s best to consult your doctor to get the best treatment for your symptoms.

Surgical Treatment

If your hip arthritis has reached a point where nonsurgical treatments aren’t effective, consider surgical options.

A popular and effective procedure is total hip replacement. This surgery replaces the joint’s damaged parts with artificial components.

male surgeon getting ready for an operation in the operation theatre
Photo Credit: stefamerpik, Freepik

An alternative is hip resurfacing, a less invasive procedure. It caps the hip joint’s ball with a metal prosthesis instead of replacing it entirely.

Total hip replacement

Undergoing a total hip replacement is a highly effective procedure for relieving the pain caused by severe arthritis. This treatment includes removing and replacing the damaged joint with an artificial one. It results in a substantial reduction of hip arthritis symptoms and improved mobility post-surgery. This diagnosis brings freedom from pain and improved quality of life.

Hip resurfacing

Imagine being able to dance, jog, or even just walk pain-free again – that’s the true potential of joint resurfacing. Hip resurfacing can reduce chronic hip pain and even address conditions like scoliosis. It involves minimal bone removal and offers a spiritual meaning to regaining freedom of movement. However, be sure to maintain the correct squatting form to avoid hip flexor pain post-procedure.

Complications of Surgical Treatment

While relief from hip arthritis may be found through surgical treatment, it’s vital to be aware of potential complications that may occur.

women with radiating hip pain
Photo Credit: Freepik

Different hip replacement issues might arise post-surgery:

  • Thigh pain after surgery could indicate an issue with the prosthetic implant.
  • Groin pain months after a hip replacement could point to nerve damage or infection.
  • Persistent lower back pain years after your hip replacement is abnormal and requires consultation with your doctor.
  • Difficulty in movement or stiffness might suggest incorrect alignment of the replaced joint.
  • Unusual swelling or redness at the surgical site could indicate an infection.

If any of these symptoms occur, medical help should be sought. For example, treatment for groin pain after hip replacement is essential to avoid further complications and ensure your freedom.


Understanding the potential complications of surgical treatment for hip arthritis is essential, but the recovery period is just as vital in restoring your mobility and freedom.

You will experience a gradual decrease in your hip arthritis symptoms, beginning with light exercises under the guidance of a physiotherapist, gradually gaining strength and movement in the affected area. Eventually, you should return to normal activities with no pain or discomfort.

Regular follow-ups are necessary for monitoring progress and ensuring successful recovery. Everyone’s path after diagnosis of hip arthritis is different based on factors such as age and overall health status. Adhering to your doctor’s instructions during this period can improve your hip arthritis treatment outcomes.


What is the best treatment for avascular necrosis of the femoral head?

The optimal treatment for avascular necrosis of the femoral head is largely dependent on the severity of the condition. For less severe cases, non-surgical treatments such as medications, physical therapy, and the use of crutches to alleviate weight on the affected hip may be effective. In more severe instances, surgical options may be necessary. These can include core decompression, bone transplant (graft), bone reshaping (osteotomy), or joint replacement.

What does it feel like to have arthritis in your hip?

Arthritis in the hip typically presents as a dull or sharp pain in the hip, groin, or thigh. The pain may be more noticeable during or after physical activity and may worsen over time. Other symptoms can include stiffness, reduced range of motion in the hip, and a ‘grating’ sensation during movement. In severe cases, it may cause difficulty walking or performing daily activities.

What is the best treatment for arthritic hip?

Treatment for an arthritic hip aims to manage pain, improve mobility, and prevent further joint damage. Non-surgical treatments include physical therapy, weight management, and medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, or disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Surgical options such as hip resurfacing or hip replacement may be considered if these treatments are ineffective.

Is walking good for hip arthritis?

Yes, walking can be beneficial for hip arthritis. Regular, gentle exercise helps strengthen the hip muscles, improve flexibility, and reduce stiffness. However, it’s important to listen to your body and not overdo it. If walking causes increased pain, trying lower-impact activities such as swimming or cycling may be helpful.

Is there a treatment for hip arthritis?

Yes, there are several treatments available for hip arthritis. These include lifestyle modifications like regular exercise and weight management, physical therapy, and medications to manage pain and inflammation. Surgical interventions such as hip resurfacing or hip replacement may be necessary in more severe cases.

Can hip arthritis lead to disability?

In severe cases, hip arthritis can lead to disability. The pain and stiffness can limit mobility and make it difficult to perform daily activities. However, with appropriate treatment, most people with hip arthritis can manage their symptoms and maintain a good quality of life.

How can I prevent hip arthritis?

While you can’t prevent all cases of hip arthritis, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk. These include maintaining a healthy weight, staying active, avoiding injuries, and managing chronic conditions that can contribute to arthritis, such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Regular check-ups with your doctor can also help detect any early signs of arthritis.