If your hip starts to hurt, it might be easy to ignore or brush off at first. The pain is always present, but it’s worse when you first get out of bed in the morning. It starts in your hip and radiates down through your thigh, sometimes even reaching your knee. While it might seem as though this pain is just an inevitable part of getting older, it could be an indication of osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and it affects millions of people worldwide. This condition develops when the protective cartilage between your joints wears down, causing the bones to rub against one another and leading to stiffness and pain.
So how do you know if your hip pain is being caused by osteoarthritis? Here are some common symptoms to watch out for.
Symptom 1: Hip pain during or after movement
If you’re experiencing osteoarthritis in your hips, you might frequently feel pain when walking, moving around, or getting out of bed. Many people who live with osteoarthritis in their hips or legs subconsciously develop a limp to compensate for the pain.
Symptom 2: Tenderness in the hip joint
If you feel tenderness in your hip after applying light pressure, this could be an indication of osteoarthritis. In some cases, there might even be noticeable swelling around the hip joint.
Symptom 3: Stiffness in the hip after a long period of inactivity
Osteoarthritis can cause hips to become stiff after long periods of inactivity, especially after a night of sleep. Most osteoarthritis patients find this stiffness is most noticeable when they first get out of bed in the morning.
Symptom 4: Reduced range of motion
Activities that used to seem like simple tasks—such as bending over to put on your shoes or climbing out of a car—can quickly become challenging when your hips are stiff and sore. Osteoarthritis can reduce your flexibility and range of motion, making formerly easy tasks feel difficult or nearly impossible.
Symptom 5: Grating sensation
Osteoarthritis causes your cartilage to wear down, which leads to bones rubbing together or against rough cartilage. This can feel like an uncomfortable grating, crunching, or popping sensation.
Symptom 6: Gradual onset of pain
Osteoarthritis hip pain can take a long time to develop, often over the course of months or even years.
If some or all of these symptoms apply to you, you may be experiencing osteoarthritis. Common surgical treatments include a total hip replacement, but there are other options.
Many patients living with osteoarthritis have found long-lasting relief through alternative treatments like medical acupuncture, injection therapy, and minimally invasive procedures. These can often help you manage and reduce your pain without the need for an invasive, costly surgery, leading to a better quality of life.
At the Spine and Joint Center, we specialize in alternative, minimally-invasive treatments. To find out more about the treatment options we offer, or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.