Signs of Hip Arthritis
It is not uncommon for people of all ages to experience hip pain from time to time, especially if you lead an active lifestyle. However, if hip pain has become a regular occurrence, then it could be a sign of something worse like arthritis.
While hip pain is a common symptom of arthritis, there are other signs that you should look out for that could indicate you are suffering from this condition and therefore need to seek tailored medical support.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a progressive condition, which means that it will get worse over time. This is why it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of arthritis so you can seek medical help as soon as possible.
The earlier you can catch the condition, the better your treatment will be.
Arthritis can impact all areas of the body where it causes stiffness, inflammation, and pain in the joints. There are various kinds of arthritis, but the most common include osteoarthritis, which impacts the hip joints, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is perhaps the most common kind of arthritis, and it causes the cartilage that protects hip joints to gradually break down and eventually wear away, making the bones grind together and cause pain in the hips.
The hip is one of the largest weight-bearing joints in the human body. It is a ball and socket joint that has two main parts which work together to support movement.
The femoral head (the ball) is located at the top of the femur (thigh bone), and the acetabulum (the socket) is located in the pelvis. Like all other joints across the body, the hip joint is protected by cartilage which is a tough but smooth lining that absorbs shock and reduces friction so the bones in the joint can glide together smoothly.
Osteoarthritis, which is arthritis in the hip, causes the cartilage within this joint to wear away, which then puts pressure on the ligaments and tendons surrounding the area.
This will then make the hip stiff and inflamed, which can eventually lead to pain and limited mobility as the rough surfaces of the bones rub together.
Osteoarthritis can be caused by many factors, ranging from obesity to specific medical conditions or structural issues within the hip joint. Most commonly, however, arthritis in the hip is a result of aging and normal wear and tear.
Signs of Hip Arthritis
The symptoms of arthritis can vary depending on the type you are dealing with, as well as other varying factors, such as the main cause of arthritis, but there are some common signs.
If you notice any of these symptoms and experience them regularly, then it may be a sign of arthritis, and you should get in touch with your doctor for advice.
The common signs of osteoarthritis include:
- Joint Pain and Stiffness
It is not uncommon to feel stiffness when you first get up in the morning, as this is a normal sign of aging. However, it becomes a problem if the joint stiffness does not ease as you get moving as it should or if it lasts several hours.
As arthritis progresses, the pain and stiffness will become more apparent and can even occur when you are resting your body. You may find it difficult to perform daily tasks, as well as more strenuous activities, because of the pain or stiffness in your joints which will get worse if left untreated.
With the progression of arthritis, the cartilage will wear away, which means you may also experience sticking or locking within the hip joint. You may also hear crunching when you move this joint.
- Difficulty Performing Everyday Activities
Arthritis in the hip can be very painful, which may make everyday tasks, such as walking or climbing the stairs difficult to perform.
This struggle is only going to get worse as the arthritis progresses, so you should seek medical advice as soon as possible if you notice you are avoiding everyday tasks because of how painful they have become.
- Pain After Exercise
It is natural to have some pain after strenuous and focused exercise, which is very likely to be caused by stretched muscles and tendons. However, extreme discomfort in the joints could be a sign of arthritis, as this condition will flare up during exercise.
If you have noticed that hip pain or continued discomfort is occurring after exercising, this could be a sign of osteoarthritis. You will need to seek medical help if you notice this continued pain and when it progresses.
- Joint Pain at Night
As we have mentioned, arthritis causes constant joint pain, which includes discomfort when the body is relaxed and resting.
This is why joint pain during the night, when you are trying to sleep, is a common sign of arthritis. It is more common to notice the pain during the night when you are no longer distracted by the events and to-dos of the day, and, in many cases, it can also disrupt sleep.
Experiencing pain in the hip joint at night, especially if you are lying on the side of the affected hip, is a sign that you should speak to your doctor about arthritis.
Speak with an Orthopedic Specialist Today
Are you suffering from a recent injury? Make an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists today to start your healing journey. OrthoArizona has nearly two dozen offices throughout the Valley, each focused on quality care, compassion, and excellent customer service. Since 1994, OrthoArizona has been dedicated to compassionate care of the highest quality.
The advice and information contained in this article are for educational purposes only and are not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or other educational medical material.