There are several types of arthritis, but osteoarthritis is the most common.

Osteoarthritis describes a process when the shiny cartilage surface covering the end of bones becomes worn down, revealing the more roughened honeycombed structure of the underlying bone. When two roughened surfaces are in contact, pain, swelling, stiffness and deformity occur.

This can happen over a number of years as part of the ageing process, or it can occur sooner as a result of an injury, a high impact sport, being overweight, or a genetic defect in the cartilage.

Symptoms include:

  • Joint stiffness, especially in the mornings or after you have been sitting for any length of time.
  • Pain, swelling or tenderness around the hip joint.
  • The feeling that bone is rubbing against bone
  • Reduced hip joint range of movement such that it becomes difficult to perform certain activities such as putting your shoes or socks on.

Treatment options:

  • One of the first steps to getting the right treatment is to get a definitive diagnosis. XRays are able to reveal any characteristic signs of narrowing of the joint and bony spurs (little nodules) at the joint margins.
  • Once you have your diagnosis, depending on the severity of arthritis, treatment may involve an initial period of relative rest of the hip joint to allow the inflammation and pain to subside.
  • Quite often with arthritis, the muscles surrounding the joint become very weak as a result of the pain. Part of your rehab will be to build up the strength in these muscles again so that they can provide dynamic scaffolding for the joint.
  • Gentle stretches and joint mobilization techniques are also effective at helping regain some joint range of movement and reducing pain. Exercises in water (Hydrotherapy) are especially great for this.
  • Acupuncture has been shown by N.I.C.E. (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) to provide effective pain relief for patients with osteoarthritis.(Acupuncture)
  • Your GP may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or a prescription pain medication.
  • Your doctor may also advise you to lose excess weight to relieve some of the strain on your hips.
  • If none of these conservative options work for you, or if your arthritis is too advanced, hip resurfacing (a surgical option that can provide relief while delaying hip replacement surgery) or a total hip replacement might be recommended.

If you have any concerns about niggling hip pain, why not contact the clinic and speak to one of our therapists or our GP / Sports Physician. Knowledge is power and also helps you take a step closer towards feeling better and getting back on with life.


Want to speak to one of our staff about this this symptom / condition? Get in touch via our contact form or by calling us on (01) 853 2788.