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What Can I Do to Relieve My Hip Osteoarthritis?
Whether you’re having trouble bending down or you feel like you’re missing out on doing what you love, there are some changes you can make to help reduce your hip pain. Little changes in your lifestyle can make a big difference in caring for your hip, from maintaining a healthy weight to exercising correctly.
The treatment options outlined below are recommended by the RACGP Guidelines for the management of Hip Osteoarthritis.1
Working with Your General Practitioner (GP)
Usually your General Practitioner (GP) will be the first point of contact to diagnose Hip Osteoarthritis and develop a treatment plan with you. Your GP may recommend certain exercises for you, or refer you to another healthcare professional, such as a Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist to put together a more detailed exercise plan. The goal of an exercise plan in Hip Osteoarthritis is to help strengthen the muscles that support your hip. It is really important to make sure to perform any exercises correctly so as to not strain any muscles. In addition to prescribing exercises, your GP may also suggest other treatment and pain management options.
Manage Your Weight
Managing your weight is another key factor to incorporate into your Hip Osteoarthritis treatment plan. Keeping your weight under control will reduce the pressure and stress on your hip joint. Participating in low impact activities such as walking, swimming, golf or cycling is recommended.
Other Treatment Options
Exercise will be key in caring for your hip. Your doctor or physiotherapist will recommend certain exercises that help strengthen the muscles that support your hip. It is important to ensure you perform the exercise correctly and don’t strain any muscles.
Physiotherapy can be a very important treatment of Hip Osteoarthritis. Typically, this treatment involves exercise programs to improve your mobility and strengthen your muscles, joint manipulation and mobilisation to reduce your pain and stiffness as well as muscle re-education to improve your control.1
Massage Therapy may be appropriate as a short-term treatment of Hip Osteoarthritis. This therapy includes stretching, soft tissue and/or joint mobilisation and/or manipulation.1
Heat Therapy is a self-management home treatment for Hip Osteoarthritis. This therapy is a supplementary treatment for pain management and involves the application of hot packs over the source of hip pain.1
Different types of medication can be prescribed by your GP to help relieve pain arising from your Hip Osteoarthritis. Medications can include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or paracetamol for short periods, both of which are taken orally for short periods. It is important that you follow the instructions of your GP before taking any of these medications.1
A Corticosteroid Injection is another treatment option used for the short-term relief associated with Hip Osteoarthritis pain. Your healthcare professional may find it appropriate to offer an intra-articular corticosteroid injection to help provide short-term pain relief if previously prescribed medications are not relieving your hip pain.1
Hip Replacement Surgery is used to treat Hip Osteoarthritis when other non-operative treatment options have been attempted and are no longer effective. Your GP will make the decision to refer you to an orthopaedic surgeon to explore if surgery could be an appropriate treatment option if they identify you have severe osteoarthritis for which non-operative treatments are ineffective.
1. The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. Guideline for the management of knee and hip osteoarthritis. 2nd edn. East Melbourne, Vic: RACGP, 2018.
This information is intended for residents of Australia only.
The information on this site is for educational purposes only and is not medical advice. Always talk to your doctor before you make decisions about your health.
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