There are two major components to treating hip osteoarthritis. The first is taking away the inflammation from the joint to alleviate the pain. And the other is to make sure that we address the biomechanics to take the pressure off the hip so that the inflammation doesn’t return.

Depending on the degree of symptoms, depending on the severity, depending on a bunch of different factors, sometimes modifying the activities can be very helpful, especially in the short term. Things that involve a lot of pounding or running on a hard surface, for example, different kinds of activities that may be exacerbating the hip.

While it’s always the goal to get back to those activities, and often we really can, in the short run, sometimes tweaking the activities so that we’re not constantly irritating it can be a very helpful thing. Working around the pain rather than directly through the pain. To that end, also, sometimes in the short run, depending again on the severity of the pain from the arthritis, sometimes a cane, rarely a walker, can be helpful, both for helping with the pain from osteoarthritis in the very short term but also for balance if people don’t feel steady as they’re walking from the pain or from any other cause, we certainly want to make sure that safety first and and that we prevent falls. And sometimes people will only use those devices also when they go outside. That depends on a lot of different factors.

Dr. Grant Cooper is a physiatrist with several years of clinical experience, specializing in the non-surgical treatment of spine, joint, and muscle pain. He is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of Princeton Spine and Joint Center and the Co-Director of the Interventional Spine Program. Dr. Cooper has authored and edited 15 books.