Understanding Hip Arthritis
Q: What is hip arthritis?
Arthritis of the hip is most commonly caused by a wearing away of the cartilage at the hip joint. This occurs over time due to motion and is not reversible.
Q: Can hip arthritis be prevented?
While there are ways to reduce the odds of developing the condition, there are no surefire methods to ensure that hip and joint pain will not occur. However, maintaining a proper weight, engaging in low-impact exercise, and taking vitamin supplements are all proven ways to stave off arthritis for as long as possible.
Q: What are the symptoms of hip arthritis?
Aside from the expected hip and joint pain, symptoms also include stiffness, decreased range of motion, and occasional tenderness.
Q: How is hip arthritis treated?
Once the diagnosis of arthritis has been made, treatment depends upon the severity of the condition. If pain and loss of range of motion are minimal, then over-the-counter pain relievers or creams may be all that is needed. If the pain is severe enough to cause such symptoms of limping or insomnia, a prescription pain reliever is generally indicated. In the most severe cases, joint replacement is recommended.
Q: If I have been diagnosed with arthritis of the hip should I cut back on my activities?
While there may be periods where rest is needed, the answer to this question is no. It is often said that ‘movement is the best medicine’ for most forms of arthritis. This is due to the fact that movement of a particular area signals to the body to produce a kind of joint lubricating fluid that helps ease hip and joint pain. Just be sure not to engage in any high-impact exercises, such as jogging.
Q: Are there any promising investigatory drugs on the horizon to treat hip arthritis?
There are a number of drugs being tested at this time to help sufferers deal with the pain of arthritis, but there are not currently any medications being tested which would cure the condition. Pain management is often the greatest concern for those affected, and a medicinal cure is unlikely, as it would literally require the body to regrow the lost cartilage. Due to the unlikely nature of a cure, research continues in an effort to try to find a way to prevent the disease from ever occurring.